Bright Lights, Big Problem: What Is Causing Your Hyperpigmentation?

Treatment + Prevention = Clarity.

While deeper skin tones can be more prone to hyperpigmentations because the melanocytes of darker skin produce more melanin, discolorations can occur in all skin phototypes. The top cause: exposure to sun and light, including indoor lights, TV/stage lights, and computer/gadget screens. Even heat from cooking, fireplaces, and saunas can cause hyperpigmentations.

Skin traumas like pimples, rashes, some lasers and peels, and highly irritating medications like hydroquinone can result in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. A condition called Pigmented Contact Dermatitis can gradually occur without a prior trauma. Because it’s not preceded by a rash or acne but is a faint to mild and progressive darkening, it is often misdiagnosed as “just part of aging.” PCD is often seen around the groin, in between the buttocks, in the genital and scrotal areas, on the nipple and surrounding areola, under the breast, and/or on the stomach.

Other culprits include photo-allergens, hormones and even certain medications which can be photo-sensitizers.

Effective treatment needs active tyrosinase inhibitors to prevent melanin over-production, plus a daily sunscreen tested for indoor lights and heat (why an Armada Post-Procedure Barrier Cream 50+ comes with all Illuminants+ Creams), as well as proper prevention (why we minimize or omit allergens in our active products and recommend allergen and photo-allergen-free products for everything else you use, from hair, body and bath care to makeup).

If you’re doing everything right and still have stubborn melasma or other hyperpigmentations, see a dermatologist to rule out other possible conditions like diabetes or a thyroid or endocrine problem, and ask about a photopatch test, which could reveal surprising causes of your hyperpigmentation.


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