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Hyperpigmentation and Light Exposure

By HERWriter
 
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credit: Dineshraj Goomany -- Hyperpigmentation and Light Exposure

Back in the day, I drank alcohol, ate sugary snacks, got little sleep, and I still had amazing skin.

Oh, to be 20 again.

Now I don’t exactly sleep well (blame the baby), but the other aspects of my health have improved. However, my skin is a little more finicky. It needs to be treated well or I wake up and literally can’t look myself in the eye.

I figure, if you can avoid the mirror, you can still look 20 in your mind.

My denial aside, hyperpigmentation can occur to the best of us. What is it? Quite simply, a condition in which patches of skin become darker in colour than the normal surrounding skin. Melanin is the pigment that produces your skin colour, but it can also forms deposits. (1)

Add this to the list of many things that happen to us that are anything but fair.

Why does this happen? Well, like so many things with regards to the skin, sun damage is the main culprit. Hormonal changes can also trigger this condition, such as during pregnancy or menopause (or even when taking birth control pills). Discolouration can happen as a result of freckling, acne or skin conditions such as eczema. Picking at the skin also doesn’t help, because your body will respond to the inflammation with more melanin.

Oh, body.

Sun exposure can be easily remedied with a big floppy hat and a generous dose of sunscreen. Although tanning in the warmer months seems to be a way of declaring that you have enjoyed the summer enough to be outside, it also has the threat of darkening areas that are already hyperpigmented.

Even though sun damage may be a given, light exposure might not be something you consider when it comes to skin damage. I certainly haven’t been sitting inside, writing articles, thinking about ways to protect my skin from further damage.

Maybe I should, because indoor lights, computer screens and heat from your oven can all lead to hyperpigmentation. (3) Old desktop computers are especially damaging as they can emit UV radiation. (5)

Computer face. It’s a thing.

 

1.     Hyperpigmentation. American Osteopath College of Dermatology. Retrieved 7 November 2018. https://www.aocd.org/page/Hyperpigmentation

2.     Sinha, Ramona. Hyperpigmentation: Causes, Symptoms, Types and Treatments. Face Care Tips. Retrieved 7 November 2018. https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/pigmentation-causes-preventive-measures/#gref

3.     Bright Lights, Big Problem: What Is Causing Your Hyperpigmentation? InSkin. Retrieved 7 November 2018. http://inskin.vmvhypoallergenics.com/bright-lights-big-problem-what-is-causing-your-hyperpigmentation/

4.     Wills, Kate. Lights off: is the glare from your computer really aging your skin? The Guardian. Retrieved 7 November 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2017/jun/01/lights-off-is-the-glare-from-your-computer-really-ageing-your-skin

5.     Valenti, Lauren. Must Read: How Your Computer Screen Affects Your Skin. Retrieved 7 November 2018. https://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/news/a12937/computer-screen-skin-problems/

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.