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hyperpigmentation, hyperpigmentation on face
Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin or nails caused by increased melanin


  • 1 Causes
  • 2 Diagnosis
  • 3 Treatment
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References


Hyperpigmentation can be caused by sun damage, inflammation, or other skin injuries, including those related to acne vulgaris123:854 People with darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation, especially with excess sun exposure4

Many forms of hyperpigmentation are caused by an excess production of melanin4 Hyperpigmentation can be diffuse or focal, affecting such areas as the face and the back of the hands Melanin is produced by melanocytes at the lower layer of the epidermis Melanin is a class of pigment responsible for producing colour in the body in places such as the eyes, skin, and hair As the body ages, melanocyte distribution becomes less diffuse and its regulation less controlled by the body UV light stimulates melanocyte activity, and where concentration of the cells is greater, hyperpigmentation occurs Another form of hyperpigmentation is post inflammatory hyperpigmentation These are dark and discoloured spots that appear on the skin following acne that has healed5

Hyperpigmentation is associated with a number of diseases or conditions, including the following:

  • Addison's disease and other sources of adrenal insufficiency, in which hormones that stimulate melanin synthesis, such as melanocyte-stimulating hormone MSH, are frequently elevated
  • Cushing's disease or other excessive adrenocorticotropic hormone ACTH production, because MSH production is a byproduct of ACTH synthesis from proopiomelanocortin POMC
  • Acanthosis nigricans — hyperpigmentation of intertriginous areas associated with insulin resistance
  • Melasma, also known as chloasma — patchy hyperpigmentation
  • Acne scarring from post-inflammatary hyperpigmentation
  • Linea nigra — a hyperpigmented line found on the abdomen during pregnancy
  • Peutz-Jeghers syndrome — an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by hyperpigmented macules on the lips and oral mucosa and gastrointestinal polyps
  • Exposure to certain chemicals such as salicylic acid, bleomycin, and cisplatin
  • Smoker's melanosis
  • Coeliac disease
  • Cronkite-Canada syndrome
  • Porphyria
  • Tinea fungal infections such as ringworm
  • Haemochromatosis — a common but debilitating genetic disorder characterized by the chronic accumulation of iron in the body
  • Mercury poisoning — particularly cases of cutaneous exposure resulting from the topical application of mercurial ointments or skin-whitening creams
  • Aromatase deficiency
  • Nelson's syndrome
  • Grave's disease
  • As a result of tinea cruris

Hyperpigmentation can sometimes be induced by dermatological laser procedures



There are a wide range of depigmenting treatments used for hyperpigmentation conditions, and responses to most are variable6

Most often treatment of hyperpigmentation caused by melanin overproduction such as melasma, acne scarring, liver spots includes the use of topical depigmenting agents, which vary in their efficacy and safety, as well as in prescription rules7 Several are prescription only in the US, especially in high doses, such as hydroquinone, azelaic acid,8 and koijic acid9 Some are available without prescription, such as niacinamide,1011 or cysteamine hydrochloride1213 Hydroquinone was the most commonly prescribed hyperpigmentation treatment before the long-term safety concerns were raised,14 and the use of it became more regulated in several countries and discouraged in general by WHO15 For the US only 2% is at present sold over-the-counter, and 4% needs prescription In the EU hydroquinone was banned from cosmetic applications16 Treatments that do not involve topical agents are also available, including fraction lasers17 and dermabrasion7

See alsoedit

  • Hypopigmentation
  • List of cutaneous conditions


  1. ^ "Hyperpigmentation" Dermatalogic Disease Database American Osteopathic College of Dermatology Retrieved 2006-03-08 
  2. ^ Rapini, Ronald P; Bolognia, Jean L; Jorizzo, Joseph L 2007 Dermatology: 2-Volume Set St Louis: Mosby ISBN 1-4160-2999-0 
  3. ^ James, William; Berger, Timothy; Elston, Dirk 2005 Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology 10th ed Saunders ISBN 0-7216-2921-0
  4. ^ a b Chandra, M; Levitt, J; Pensabene, CA May 2012 "Hydroquinone therapy for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation secondary to acne: not just prescribable by dermatologists" Acta Dermato-Venerologica 92 3: 232–5 PMID 22002814 doi:102340/00015555-1225 
  5. ^ Hyperpigmentation on Face Acne Scars Hyperpigmentation, Dark Spots, Acne Scars, Meladerm"
  6. ^ Gupta, AK; Gover, MD; Nouri, K; Taylor, S December 2006 "The treatment of melasma: a review of clinical trials" Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 55 6: 1048–65 PMID 17097400 doi:101016/jjaad200602009 
  7. ^ a b "Variety of options available to treat pigmentation problems | American Academy of Dermatology" wwwaadorg Retrieved 2017-02-12 
  8. ^ Mazurek, Klaudia; Pierzchała, Ewa 2016-09-01 "Comparison of efficacy of products containing azelaic acid in melasma treatment" Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 15 3: 269–282 ISSN 1473-2165 PMID 27028014 doi:101111/jocd12217 
  9. ^ Monteiro, Rochelle C; Kishore, B Nanda; Bhat, Ramesh M; Sukumar, D; Martis, Jacintha; Ganesh, H Kamath 2013-03-01 "A Comparative Study of the Efficacy of 4% Hydroquinone vs 075% Kojic Acid Cream in the Treatment of Facial Melasma" Indian Journal of Dermatology 58 2: 157 ISSN 1998-3611 PMC 3657227  PMID 23716817 doi:104103/0019-5154108070 
  10. ^ Hakozaki, T; Minwalla, L; Zhuang, J; Chhoa, M; Matsubara, A; Miyamoto, K; Greatens, A; Hillebrand, GG; Bissett, DL 2002-07-01 "The effect of niacinamide on reducing cutaneous pigmentation and suppression of melanosome transfer" British Journal of Dermatology 147 1: 20–31 doi:101046/j1365-2133200204834x 
  11. ^ "Spotlight On: Niacinamide - FutureDerm" FutureDerm 2007-10-30 Retrieved 2017-02-12 
  12. ^ Mansouri, P; Farshi, S; Hashemi, Z; Kasraee, B 2015-07-01 "Evaluation of the efficacy of cysteamine 5% cream in the treatment of epidermal melasma: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial" The British Journal of Dermatology 173 1: 209–217 ISSN 1365-2133 PMID 25251767 doi:101111/bjd13424 
  13. ^ "Cysteamine Cream® -- New Hyper Intensive Depigmenting Treatment" Scientis Pharma Retrieved 2017-02-12 
  14. ^ Draelos, Zoe Diana 2007-09-01 "Skin lightening preparations and the hydroquinone controversy" Dermatologic Therapy 20 5: 308–313 ISSN 1529-8019 PMID 18045355 doi:101111/j1529-8019200700144x 
  15. ^ "Hyrdoquinone Guidance published under the joint sponsorship of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation, and the World Health Organization" 
  16. ^ "Hydroquinone - Substance evaluation - CoRAP - ECHA" echaeuropaeu Retrieved 2017-02-12 
  17. ^ "Laser Skin Whitening - Advantages and Disadvantages | Skin Whitening News" skinwhiteningnewsorg Retrieved 2017-02-12 

hyperpigmentation, hyperpigmentation causes, hyperpigmentation cream, hyperpigmentation from acne, hyperpigmentation on arms, hyperpigmentation on face, hyperpigmentation on legs, hyperpigmentation on neck, hyperpigmentation pictures, hyperpigmentation treatment

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