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Hyperpigmentation is a common skin concern and is characterised by a darker complexion of the skin due to overproduction of the pigment, melanin. Melanogenesis is the process where the melanin pigment is produced in the lower epidermis in melanosomes by the melanocytes. It is responsible for colour in our skin, hair and eyes.
The melanocytes interact with endocrine, immune, inflammatory and central nervous systems. Its activity is also regulated by UV exposure, inflammation, drugs and other injuries such as acne.
Although it can affect anyone, this condition is more prevalent among certain ethnicities: Asian, Mediterranean, African, or Latin. Hyperpigmentation can affect any part of the body including the face, hands, and neck.
Examples of hyperpigmentation includes:
- Solar lentigo (sun-or age spots)
- Pregnancy induced melasma/chloasma
- Stain, nevus, freckles or a tan
- Dark circles under the eyes
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