We’ve spoken a lot about Hyperpigmentation on this blog. After all, most (if not all) of us have some type of skin discoloration, whether it’s in the form of acne marks, age spots, or sun damage.
[Read: What is Hyperpigmentation? How can it be prevented?]
But what about Hypopigmentation? On a basic level, Hypopigmentation is described as a loss of skin color. While Hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase in melanin (the substance that gives our skin and hair its color) Hypopigmentation is the result of a reduction in melanin production. Most of us have experienced Hypopigmentation as a result of trauma (a cut or burn) or sun damage (those white spots you see on your skin).
There are certain types of Hypopigmentation which require the attention of a dermatologist or other health professional. These include Vitiligo; Albinism; and Tinea Versicolor (fungal infection).
More commonly, Hypopigmentation is caused by some trauma—a blister or a burn—that may affect the area with a loss of pigment and cause white spots on the skin. It’s important to ensure that such areas of Hypopigmentation are well protected from the sun; lack of melanin makes the skin far more vulnerable to sun damage. These white spots tend to be temporary; eventually the skin will heal and return to its usual color once the body regenerates pigment.
[Read: Do you have these little white bumps around your eyes?]
While we normally associated sun damage with Hyperpigmentation, excess UV exposure can also cause a loss of color in the skin. Areas of sun damage-induced Hypopigmentation (white spots and areas of de-pigmented skin) usually occur alongside sun spots and are irreversible.
The lesson here? In order to prevent both Hyper- and Hypopigmentation, it’s essential to protect the skin from the sun on a daily basis.
[Take our Quiz: How much do you know about Tanning and your skin?]
How well are you protecting your skin from the sun?