Hyperpigmentation - Causes, Prevention, Treatment

What is hyperpigmentation? It is nothing but dark patches found on the skin, but necessarily not a condition. It is due to the excess production of melanin in our bodies. Usually, hyperpigmentation can be seen on the outer part of the body like the face, neck, and hands.



The most common types of skin hyperpigmentation are;

Age Spots:

Age spots are also called solar lentigines or liver spots. This usually appears in adults or after extended exposure to the sun. They commonly appear on the face and hands on the skin. Its symptoms can be brown, tan, or black spots that appear on the skin with extended sun exposure. We can avoid it by getting out in the direct sunlight and following a healthy diet.

Hyperpigmentation Melasma: 

Hyperpigmentation Melasma is also called chloasma. It occurs especially to women who are pregnant, to those who take birth control pills and also to people who have darker skin. They are more likely to develop melasma. It often appears on the face, neck, and stomach. It can be seen in dark patches on the skin. It is common during the time of pregnancy. You can prevent it by using sunscreen when needed and using gentle skincare products on your skin.

Post – Inflammatory:

The post-inflammatory type occurs to those people who have had acne, inflammation, or had skin injuries are more likely to develop this type. It appears as spots or patches of dark skin that pop up after acne. It usually appears to those people who have darker skin and it occurs on the face and neck. To prevent it or to avoid making it worse, stop picking at the spots, or acne on your skin.


The cause of hyperpigmentation is increased melanin production. It is different from person to person. The most common causes for hyperpigmentation are; 

Exposure to Sun:

The body produces more melanin to protect the skin against prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet race. It can cause dark patches or spots on the skin’s exposed area. It is called age spots or sunspots. 

Skin Inflammation: 

Skin inflammation can also be caused by acne, skin injury, or eczema. This can darken the skin after people got cured of the problem.  People with darker skin are more likely to get skin inflammatory hyperpigmentation. 

Reaction to drug usage:

Certain medications and chemicals in topical treatments also sometimes cause hyperpigmentation. In these cases, the skin may appear in gray patches. 

Medical Conditions:

Certain medical conditions like Addison’s Disease and Hemochromatosis lead to severe hyperpigmentation. 

  • Addison’s disease can cause hyperpigmentation in certain body parts including, lips, elbows, and knees, folds of skin, and inside of the cheeks. 
  • Hemochromatosis is an inherited disease that causes the skin to hold too much iron in the body which makes the skin appear darker and tanned. 


Hyperpigmentation tends to be harmless. Some of us want to get rid of it. It cannot be completely cured. But it can be prevented and there are some home remedies to minimize its severity. 

  • It can be prevented by applying sunscreen with an SPF of 50, before 15 minutes of heading out in the sun to avoid hyperpigmentation from getting more severe and darker. 
  • We can avoid going out in direct sunlight. That is from 10 am to 4 pm, as the sunlight is at its peak. 
  • To prevent hyperpigmentation, we must stop picking at the skin to avoid skin injury after acne, spots, and scabs.


How to get rid of hyperpigmentation? It can be treated in several ways at home. The remedies we share are anecdotal, it may or may not work for some people. It completely depends upon people’s skin types.

Aloe vera: 

Aloe vera is an important element that has aloin, which is present in many hyperpigmentation creams to depigment the skin. Apply aloe vera gel, all over the affected area at night time. Wash it off with warm water after you wake up in the morning. Use it regularly to see the desired results.


Lactic acid which is present in milk and buttermilk is a vital property to effectively lighten hyperpigmentation. Soak a cotton ball in milk and apply it over the darkened skin patches twice a day. To see the desired results, follow it regularly. 

Vitamin C for Hyperpigmentation: 

Vitamin C that’s present in lemon, orange, and potato has various goodness that can give to our skin and body. Vitamin C for hyperpigmentation? Yes, you read it right. It contains antioxidants that can treat hyperpigmentation. It can protect the skin against the sun’s ultraviolet rays which harm our skin. It is also used in various hyperpigmentation creams. 

Tomato Juice: 

Tomato has antioxidants and lycopene which helps skin to maintain an even skin tone. Applying tomato juice on the skin regularly helps to treat the severity of hyperpigmentation patches and gives an even tone to the skin. 

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar has acetic acid which helps in lightening the dark patches on the skin. To use apple cider vinegar, take an equal amount of water with apple cider vinegar and apply it to the affected area. Leave it for two to three minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water. 

Green Tea:

Green tea is said to help with depigmentation. To use green tea for hyperpigmentation, steep a green tea bag for three to five minutes in boiling water. Let it rest for a few minutes, apply the green tea bag to the affected area. To see the expected results, use it twice a day. 

Hyperpigmentation Treatment:

Hyperpigmentation differs from person to person. Its severity depends on the individual’s skin type. If the home remedies don’t work out for you, you can try medical treatment with the help of your dermatologist. It includes;

  • Chemical peeling 
  • Laser resurfacing
  • Cryotherapy
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Hydroquinone 

Hyperpigmentation is more a beauty-related concern rather than a medical condition. It can be treated easily with the help of home remedies. If not, several other medical treatments can be taken under the proper guidance of your dermatologist. Try to trust the process you’re going through and with patience, you can get the desired results.