We get different types of pigmentation on a daily basis at Dermology. Living in South Africa and having all different skin types, we have had lots of exposure to sunspots and sun damage, uneven skin tone and hyper-pigmentation.
There are a number of different types of pigmentation, but a few more common than others. Melasma – This type of pigmentation is believed to be caused by hormonal changes, commonly developed during pregnancy or even while on the pill. It may appear on the cheeks, forehead and upper lip. Sun spots – They are sometimes wrongly referred to as lover spots which might appear on the hands and face. This is caused by prolonged exposure to the sun or sun damage to the skin.
Hyper Pigmentation shows up when our pigment cells (also called melanin) gets overproduced in certain spots on our skins. It can be different shapes, sizes and colours.
The most common types of pigmentation:
- Hyperpigmentation: generally due to sun exposure and on areas such as face, hands and arms. They are generally small and darkened patches on the skin.
- Melasma/Chloasma: this is also known as “the mask of pregnancy”. It affects most pregnant women during or after childbirth. Due to hormonal influences such as pregnancy and contraceptive pills it can flare up. It shows up on the skin as dark and irregular shaped areas on the face.
- Freckles: Freckles are caused by sun exposure and mostly appears on the face.
- PIH (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation): This occurs after injury to the skin. The pigmentation is usually flat and discoloured. We see it often after acne scarring.