Excessive incorporation of melanin in the skin is generally referred to as hyperpigmentation. This pigment is produced by specific cells in the skin, the melanocytes, and is then stored in the surrounding cells. Isolated areas of the skin or all of the skin can be affected by hyperpigmentation. Typical examples of locally restricted hyperpigmentation are freckles, birth marks and age spots.
Melanin production can be stimulated by a variety of factors. These include UV light (exposure to the sun), hormonal changes, e.g. during pregnancy, metabolic disorders and taking certain medicines. In addition, inflammation of the skin may subsequently trigger hyperpigmentation.
Options for treatment
There are now a variety of options for treating hyperpigmentation caused by melanin. For example, the application of creams specifically developed for this purpose can render the spots paler or make them disappear. In addition, laser treatment or other cosmetic procedures can be used to treat hyperpigmentation.
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