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How to Prevent Hyperpigmentation

How to Prevent Hyperpigmentation How to Prevent Hyperpigmentation


Hyperpigmentation is darkening of your skin due to an elevated concentration of pigment called melanin. Hyperpigmentation can be a simple freckle, or the result of inflammation or injury to your skin, including acne and eczema. Some types of hyperpigmentation are part of your genetic makeup, like developing freckles, or age spots as you grow older, and are hard to prevent. Sun protection, appropriate skin care and careful use of medications can help you prevent hyperpigmentation in some situations.

Step 1

Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays when you are outside. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD), hyperpigmentation in the form of freckles and larger spots of discolorations can result from too much exposure to the sun without proper protection. Use as high an SPF number as you can find to prevent sunburn and other sun damage.

Step 2

Avoid therapies that use artificial light, such as tanning beds and laser hair removal. As with natural sun exposure, explains dermatologist Dr. Jennifer Linder, you can develop hyperpigmentation from these sources. Opt for hair removal methods such as shaving, waxing or depilating to protect your skin from discoloration.

Step 3

Prevent hyperpigmentation by treating acne promptly and properly, under the supervision of your doctor. The AOCD explains that acne can be a cause of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Applying topical acne creams or ointments can help reduce inflammation and the risk of dark spots after the blemishes heal.

Step 4

Consult your doctor about medications you may be taking that can cause hyperpigmentation as a side effect. Hormonal drugs, including birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy might lead to dark patches of skin in some women. In a November 2006 issue of the "New England Journal of Medicine," lead author Adrian N. Holm writes about hyperpigmentation induced by an antibiotic called minocycline. If you have concerns about medications you have been prescribed, you may be able to switch to other drugs that do not carry the risk of hyperpigmentation.

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