One of the most common skin conditions associated with older skin is age spots. There are two reasons that men and women can develop age spots: too much melanin due to sun exposure or fluctuations in hormone levels. These discoloration problems are known as hyperpigmentation (due to prolonged sun exposure) and melasma (due to hormonal fluctuations or sun exposure).
Hyperpigmentation is defined as a surplus of melanin relative to the surrounding skin. This can be the result of either an abnormally high concentration of melanocytes (or the pigment-producing cells) producing the melanin, or hyperactive melanocytes in a specific site. Undoubtedly, the cumulative effects of sun exposure play an important part in hyperpigmentation as it stimulates the darkening of the melanocytes.
It is thought that melasma is the result of the stimulation of melanocytes by estrogen and progesterone to produce more melanin when the sun is exposed to sunlight. Women that have light brown skin and live in regions with intense sunlight are more especially susceptible to developing this problem.
It is very common for melasma to appear during pregnancy or with the use of contraceptive pills. Therefore, a direct relationship with female hormonal activity appears to cause melanocytes to produce and deposit excess pigments. Moreover, this type of pigmentation problem is more common among women than men.
Other factors that have been linked to melasma are mild ovarian or thyroid dysfunction, certain cosmetics and photosensitizing medications.
Genetic predisposition is also a major factor in determining whether someone will develop melasma. Over 30% of patients have a family history of melasm. Identical twins have been reported to develop melasma, while other siblings under similar conditions did not.
Another major factor is exposure to sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation leads to the peroxidation of the lipids in cell membranes which leads to the generation of free radicals and the production of more melanin. Sunscreens that protect against UVB radiation are not sufficient protection because longer wavelengths make melanocytes produce more melanin.
DEALING WITH HYPERPIGMENTATION AND MELASMA
Aging skin care should take into consideration both a melasma and hyperpigmentation treatment. In both case, excess pigmentation is a gradual process which makes their resolution an equally gradual process.
Hyperpigmentation products are basically aimed at bleaching the skin to reduce the amount of pigment. There are natural products that can be used for this purpose. But, the leading active-substance for bleaching the skin is hydroquinone.
Unfortunately, if hydroquinone is used for extended periods of time it can lead to severe side effects. This means that only a limited amount of hydroquinone can be added to skin care products. Furthermore, hydroquinone causes permanent de pigmentation and, therefore, increase photosensitivity to UV radiation.
Even though they may take longer to produce similar effects, hyperpigmentation creams derived from natural origins have become popular for the treatment of melasma and hyperpigmentation. These types of creams contain arbutin, licorice extract, Vitamin C and kokic acid.
Treat melasma and hyperpigmentation using Bioskinrejuvenation, one of our naturalhyperpigmentation creams. It contains natural ingredients that help restore the skin’s natural physiology and help speed up skin renewal. Go to our website to find extra information about hyperpigmentation problems and melasma treatments.