Hyperpigmentation occurs when there is excess production of melanin, which leads to darkened spots or patches on the skin. Hyperpigmentation in and of itself does not always denote anything serious, but it could mean there is an underlying condition that is causing the darkened skin. At the very least, it can lead to self-consciousness issues, especially if the hyperpigmented spots are on the highly visible parts of the body.
There are many ways to treat hyperpigmentation, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In order to avoid hyperpigmentation from occurring in the first place, here are some habits that you must steer clear from:
Neglecting sun protection
One of the main causes of hyperpigmentation is excessive sun exposure. If you constantly go out in the sun without sunscreen, you are not only putting yourself at risk of UV exposure, but you are also causing your skin to darken at the same time—and not in a very healthy way. That said, make it a point to apply sunscreen or a high-quality moisturizing lotion with SPF whenever you go out during the day. Doing this is not only important to prevent hyperpigmentation; it is also imperative to avoid the harmful effects of the sun.
Wearing tight clothes
Constant friction can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, especially in areas where skin rubs together, such as the underarms and inner thighs. Wearing tight clothes makes this friction worse and can also cause the skin around the area to thicken. Sometimes, you may even notice signs of irritation on the skin when you take off the tight clothing.
With this in mind, avoid wearing too tight clothes, especially if they are tight around the sensitive areas of your body (underarms, groin, inner thighs, etc.). Instead, choose light and loose clothing that doesn’t cause excessive friction on different parts of your body. If you must wear tight clothing, however, apply lotion or moisturizer on your body to reduce the effects of friction.
Popping your pimples prematurely is also a common cause of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Yes, popping those annoying zits can be super satisfying, but this does more harm than good for your skin. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can cause dark spots to appear on your face, and unfortunately, these spots can take months or even years to fade away.
In addition to hyperpigmentation, popping pimples can also cause acne scars, which can last even longer than dark spots. All things considered, it is definitely better to wait for a pimple to go away by itself or otherwise use pimple patches to get rid of acne rather than pop them prematurely.
Using the wrong products
Not all skin products are made equal. If you use something that your skin doesn’t agree with, you may experience negative effects—hyperpigmentation being one of them. This is especially true if you have sensitive skin and tend to react negatively to skin products. But no matter your skin type, using the wrong products can lead to uneven skin tone, dark patches, and irritation, among many other effects.
Finding the right skincare products can be a trial and error process; everyone’s skin is different and what works for others may not work for you, and vice versa. While you are trying to find the right skin products to use, however, know when you should immediately stop using a product—even if that would mean your time and money were wasted. If a skincare product is doing more harm than good to your skin, stop using it as soon as possible and try something else.
But if a skincare product is not causing harm but not necessarily doing anything beneficial, wait for a few more weeks before dropping it. Sometimes, it can take some time before your skin can react positively to a new skincare product, and you just have to wait before switching to something else.
Ignoring skin injuries
Even the smallest bug bites, cuts, and scratches can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If you have light skin, the spots can appear red or pink. If you have dark skin, on the other hand, the spots typically appear as a darker shade of your natural skin.
To avoid post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from skin injuries, avoid picking at the wound while it is healing; let the scabs fall off on their own.
Darks spots from hyperpigmentation may not always be that difficult to get rid of. However, preventing hyperpigmentation from forming in the first place is better than having to deal with it later. So, if you want to avoid dark spots on different parts of your body, be sure to kick these habits for good.