Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that affects various skin tones and leaves many feeling frustrated and dissatisfied with their skin’s appearance.
Olive skin tones and darker skin tones are tougher and more resistant to sun rays than lighter complexions, but they’re also susceptible to hyperpigmentation and other skin issues when the skin cells are damaged.
There are a number of reasons why olive skin may be more prone to hyperpigmentation. One reason is that olive skin has more melanin, which is the pigment that gives skin its color. Melanin also helps protect the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun.
When the skin is exposed to the sun, melanin works to darken the skin and protect it from further damage. However, sometimes this process can go awry and result in hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation – What Is It?
Hyperpigmentation is a term for a skin condition where patches of skin on the body appear darker due to excess production of melanin. It’s not a life-threatening condition, but it may impact the way you feel about your general appearance.
Hyperpigmentation begins in the pigment cells or melanocytes located in the epidermis. These cells produce melanin, which is responsible for giving our skin, hair, and eyes their color.
When the skin is injured or damaged in some way, the melanocytes can go into overdrive and produce too much melanin. This excess melanin then gets deposited in the surrounding skin cells, resulting in patches of darker skin.
This condition has different causes such as pregnancy or birth hormones, excess exposure to sunlight, and inflammation (like bug bites and pimples).
This can lead to an overproduction of melanin which leads to darker patches or areas on the skin than the natural complexion.
Olive Skin and Hyperpigmentation
Olive skin is more prone to hyperpigmentation because it contains more melanin than other skin tones. Melanin is a dark brown to the black pigment that gives color to the skin, hair, and eyes.
This pigment also helps protect the skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. When the skin is exposed to the sun, melanin works to darken the skin and protect it from further damage.
Individuals with olive skin tone are prone to melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). This type of hyperpigmentation is caused by trauma or injury to the skin and it worsens by exposure to the sun.
PIH occurs after insect bites, burn, acne, scratch, surgical procedure, or incision.
Melasma is a skin condition where individuals have brown patches on their forehead or cheeks and it worsens due to sun exposure, change in female hormones (caused by pregnancy, birth control pills, or hormone therapy), and inflammation.
The main way to prevent hyperpigmentation is by avoiding long exposure to sunlight. It is also important to use sunscreen with high SPF on a daily basis even when you’re indoors.
If you have to be in the sun for a while, always apply sunscreen. Reapply sunscreen every two to three hours if you’re still outside for whatever reason.
You can also try some home remedies such as lemon juice, cucumber, aloe vera, or potato slices. Be sure to test these remedies on a small area of skin before applying them to your entire face.
If you have hyperpigmentation, don’t be concerned; it can still be treated and your skin will return to its normal color.
Here are some treatment options for hyperpigmentation:
- Exfoliate regularly with scrub products to rid your skin of damaged cells. Test new products on a small patch of skin to check if you react to it.
- Using creams with hydroquinone work fast to eliminate dark areas, but don’t use products containing hydroquinone longer than 4 weeks or if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. You can use products that contain salicylic acid or hydroxyphenyl propionic acid.
- Microneedling, chemical peels, and lasers may all help to treat severe cases of hyperpigmentation. Before taking any of these methods, talk to a board-certified dermatologist.
While hyperpigmentation can be frustrating, there are treatments available to help improve the appearance of your skin. Be sure to talk to a board-certified dermatologist about which method would work best for you.
Hyperpigmentation affects different skin tones, including olive and darker tones. However, it’s a condition you can prevent or manage if it occurs.
It’s best to take preventative measures and avoid long exposure to sunlight and use sunscreen when you’re spending some time under the sun to maintain your natural complexion and protect your skin cells.
If you have hyperpigmentation, there are treatments available to lighten the affected areas of your skin. Be sure to talk to a board-certified dermatologist about which method is best for you.