Skin Darkening - Causes And Treatment
Skin darkening is medically called as hyperpigmentation. It occurs when certain skin cells release more pigment or dark color element. There are also different colors associated with skin. Darkening of the skin due to blueness is called cyanosis. Darkening may sometimes occur from redness. Other types of skin darkening can result from sun exposure, certain dietary items, and certain chemicals. Skin darkening, color changes, or hyperpigmentation can be the symptom of some severe diseases and any such symptoms require prompt professional medical investigation.
Various shades and colors of human skin are created by the brown pigment, melanin. Without melanin, the skin would be pale white with varying shades of pink caused by the blood flowing through it. Fair-skinned people produce very little melanin; darker-skinned people produce moderate amounts; and very dark skinned people produce a great deal. People with albinism have no melanin.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy the melanin level increases in skin hence the skin color gets darker. For some women, especially those who live in cold climates, increased hormone production can cause temporary discoloration or blotchy skin in the legs. This usually disappears after delivery.
- Heredity: People who have a dark skin often have children who are dark-skinned too. The genes seem to pass on from generation to generation.
- Sun Rays: Over exposure to sun causes the skin to tan. This is a natural mechanism. But to protect itself from the harmful UV rays of the sun, the skin produces more of the pigment melanin which shields the penetration of UV rays into the skin.
- Photo Allergens: Chemicals called Photo Allergens can also cause Darkening. Photo Allergens react with light and cause the skin to Darken. Fragrances are top Photo Allergens.
- Actinic keratosis appears as rough, red or brown scaly patches on the skin, is known as a precancerous condition because it sometimes develops into squamous cell cancer.
- The skin color may get darker towards black side due to high melanin in skin.
- Sometimes skin color may become blue. It is called cyanosis.
- Sometimes skin color may become red or brown.
- There is no itching or pain. Just the skin changes its color.
- Liver spots or solar lentigines may also appear. These are flat tan-to-brown spots that occur mainly on the face, neck, hands, and forearms. They have nothing to do with the liver. Rather, they develop as a result of aging and sun exposure.
- Use no soap or mild soap while washing your face or while taking bath.
- Avoid all kings of perfumes which are having perfumes as this problem is due to some kind of perfumes.
- Avoid using deodorants or perfumes especially those which are allergic to your body.
- Protect yourself from the sun. This is crucial because exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays intensifies pigment changes.
- If the dark skin is as a result of the pregnancy then no special treatment is recommended. Only care and some restrictions are to be taken.
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