It refers to excessive pigmentation of the skin. It is a harmless condition and appears as darkened patches or spots on the skin making it look uneven. It can occur in small patches, cover large areas or affect the entire body. The skin gets its color from the melanin pigment and a reaction can lead to over production of the pigment leading to it being in excess where it does not belong. The deeper the pigment, the tougher it is to treat.
Over 50% of people living in Sub Saharan Africa suffer from hyper pigmentation knowingly or unknowingly. This is because of extreme exposure to the sun. This condition affects people with all skin types from dry, normal, combination, oily, oily acne prone and even sensitive skin.
There is a thin line between hyper pigmentation and melasma which appear to be the same. The latter is harder to treat because it is commonly found in women and is largely associated with hormonal influences. Hyper pigmentation can easily be treated through a well balanced diet, proper skin routine and using natural and essential oils which are healing and nourishing to the skin.
There are three types of hyper pigmentation
- Epidermal: light brown spots which are less dense.
- Dermal: deep brown to black spots, dense and solid.
- Mixture of both of them.
The most important thing when diagnosing hyper pigmentation is to understand what caused it instead of treating the end result which is the dark patches. This will make it easy to deal with the root cause of it thus preventing reoccurrence.
Causes of Hyper pigmentation
- Hormonal imbalances due to pregnancy and other factors.
- Hormonal therapies including birth control methods and fertility treatments.
- Extreme UV exposure.
- Age spots.
- Reaction to certain product ingredients and other products wholesomely.
- Post acne scarring from a stubborn breakout.
- Post inflammatory scarring.
- Discoloration caused by skin conditions such as Eczema, Psoriasis, Chicken Pox etc.
- Some diseases such as diabetes, kidney failures etc.
- Reaction to some medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
- Reaction to some medications.
- Skin treatment side effects.
- Metabolic disorders.
- Lack of proper skin hygiene leading to accumulation of dirt, sebaceous oil and thriving of bacteria.
Essential Oils that clear hyper pigmentation.
Carrier oils good for hyper pigmentation
How to treat hyper pigmentation.
It may take even up to 3 months to completely eliminate hyper pigmentation even though skin regenerates itself every 27-30 days. A lot of factors contribute to the achievement of this and that includes drinking a lot of water on a daily basis, eating a well balanced diet including carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables and eating a lot of fruits.
A routine of cleansing and toning twice a day then moisturizing with the right oil (light oils such as Jojoba and Grape seed oil that are easily absorbed for the oily skin type and the heavier butters such as Shea butter for dry skin).
Exfoliating the skin thrice per week for oily skin, twice per week for normal or combination skin and once per week for dry skin.
Mask once per week.
Steam the face using a hot water bath or a steam machine which helps to open pores therefore making it easier for the oils to be absorbed directly into the skin making them more effective.
Oil cleanses are also very effective.
Things to avoid while treating your hyper pigmentation.
- Using bleaching ingredients such as mercury and hydroquinone which are dangerous to the skin and health in general.
- Chemical peels which reap the skin its natural oils.
- Using different products within a short span of time.
- Using hot water to clean the face. Lukewarm or room temperature is also as effective as water is a very good solvent.
- Over cleansing the face
DIY Hyper pigmentation oils and butters
[Lemon Seed Essential Oil] + [Jojoba oil] oily skin.
[Rose Essential oil] + [Coconut oil] combination to normal skin.
[Frankincense Essential Oil] + [Shea Butter] dry skin.
By Ajwang’ Ogutu