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Hyperpigmentation : causes and treatment

Hyperpigmentation : causes and treatment

What causes pigmentation marks? How can you prevent them?
Hyperpigmentation : causes and treatment

Causes of pigmentation marks

Pigmentation marks are caused by an accumulation of pigment, a dye, melanin, which is produced by the pigment cells in the epidermis. Pigment is responsible for the color of the skin, but also for the color of your hair and the iris of your eyes. Our pigment cells have a protective function: they protect us against UV radiation.

The sun

Since melanin protects us against UV radiation, it is normal for our skin to turn brown when tanning. But too high an exposure to UV radiation can cause our body to become confused and to produce too much melanin. As a result, the pigment accumulates in one place and pigmentation marks appear. These usually occur on the face and hands because they are most exposed to the sun. However, that does not mean that they cannot occur anywhere else.

Old age

Age spots or liver spots are pigmentation marks that we often see in older people. These usually occur on the back of the hand and in the face. Here too, the link with the sun is made: the earlier exposure to the sun is an important determining factor in the development of these pigment marks in old age.


Under the influence of hormonal changes during pregnancy there is a chance that more pigment cells will be produced. This may cause the so-called pregnancy mask. For women with a light skin type, this often manifests itself in dark spots in the face or neck. For women with dark skin types, pigmentation marks are lighter than the skin around them. This pregnancy mask is harmless and will gradually disappear in most women after pregnancy. If this is not the case, the skin can be cared for with natural, pigment-correcting products.


Pigmentation spots can also occur after wounds, acne, skin irritation or around surgical scars. Inflammation of the skin may cause the pigment cells to be stimulated. This is more common in people with dark skin type.

How to prevent pigmentation marks

We cannot emphasize often enough that the daily use of a day cream with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 20 is very important. We recommend daily use, also in winter. When you do go into the sun, please note the following points:

  • Avoid sun exposure between 12:00 and 16:00.
  • Apply sun protection before getting into the sun.
  • Reapply regularly to maintain protection, especially after swimming, after you have dried off or when you are sweating heavily.
  • Using a sun product is no argument for staying in the sun longer than is recommended for your skin type. Too long, too regular or too intense sun exposure increases the risk of skin damage.
  • Do not allow babies and young children to get directly into the sun, or at least as little as possible.
  • Examine your skin regularly for skin abnormalities (especially for suspicious moles).


Treat pigmentation stains

The earlier in the year you start using pigment-correcting products, the more effectively they can do their job. Pigmentation marks are usually most visible in the summer, because the skin has then already been exposed to the sun a lot. When you start protecting and caring on time, you can limit visibility as much as possible.

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