Hyperpigmentation

Too Much of A Good Thing

Hyperpigmentation is abnormally increased pigmentation (color) of the skin. Special cells called melanocytes produce pigment granules, which are scattered throughout the basal layer of the epidermis (the top layer of the skin). Through a complex process melanocytes produce a chemical compound called melanin, the protein responsible for skin color. Heredity determines the basic skin color (light or dark). People of different races have approximately the same number of melanocytes, but they are more active in dark-skinned people. Lighter skin has fewer melanocyte pigment cells. This added melanin in darker skin provides greater protection from the ultra violet rays of the sun, premature aging of the skin, and incidents of certain types of skin cancer. Other factors can modify the genetic effect of skin color. Sunlight is the most obvious factor - prolonged exposure causes melanocytes to increase melanin production and darken skin color. So, too, does an excess of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) or an excess of melanocyte - stimulating hormone (MSH), two of the hormones secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. Contraceptives or pregnancy, psoriasis, blood pressure medication, etc., can also induce hyperpigmentation. Changes in skin pigment are significantly more common in persons of medium skin pigment (Asians, Hispanics, light-skinned blacks).

At The Skin Studio, hyperpigmentation has been successfully treated utilizing sun protection, Hydroquinone, Kojec Acid, Retinolic Acids, skin peeling, vitamin C or a combinatioof the above.