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What is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is characterised by increased melanin production and is common in people of darker skin tones. It is a product of epidermal cells called melanocytes. Melanin is responsible for the natural pigmentation (colour) of the skin and it  protects the skin from sun damage.

Hyperpigmentation can be genetic or a sign of an underlying medical condition, It can also be caused by reactions to drugs, hormones or environmental factors such as sun exposure. Hyperpigmentation
can be caused by inflammation and injury to the skin. In some cases, hyperpigmentation and scarring occur due to acne induced inflammation. An injury or insult to the skin triggers production of excess melanin in an effort to protect the skin resulting in hyperpigmentation.

There are many  treatments options  for  hyperpigmentation, some of which can be bought over the counter  and some through prescriptions by GPs and dermatologists.

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  1. Tessema, E., Çakan, N., & Kamat, D. (2007). hyperpigmentation. Clinical Pediatrics, 46(7), 655-657.
  2. Speeckaert, R., Van Gele, M., Speeckaert, M. M., Lambert, J. and van Geel, N. (2014), The biology of hyperpigmentation syndromes. Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research, 27: 512–524. doi: 10.1111/pcmr.12235
  3. Nieuweboer-Krobotova, L. (2013), Hyperpigmentation: types, diagnostics and targeted treatment options. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 27: 2–4. doi: 10.1111/jdv.12048

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