H Y P E R P I G M E N T A T I O N - Guest Contributor, Kacie Krecolowich R.Ac, Registered Acupuncturist and owner, Silk + Palm
Everyone will deal with some sort of hyperpigmentation at some point in their life, whether it's after spending too much time in the sun or after getting a breakout! In this blog post I’m going to go through the different types of hyperpigmentation and how they manifest on the skin!
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is an excess of melanin in the skin, which makes the skin become darker in the area that’s affected. It can also have to do with how the body breaks down excess melanin + hormones, which has to do with the liver. In Chinese Medicine, hyperpigmentaiton is caused by Qi + Blood Stagnation. Liver controls the free flow of Qi in the body and if not flowing properly causes hormones and melanin to become stagnant, much like Western Medicine. There are 4 different types of hyperpigmentation…
POST INFLAMMATORY HYPERPIGMENTATION
As if getting a breakout or having acne isn’t bad enough already, you are possibly going to get left with some hyperpigmentation known as, Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH). The colour of the marks can vary depending on the person, but typically people with deeper skin tones tend to pigment a lot easier because they already have more Melanin in their skin to begin with. That being said, I know a lot of very fair people who also pigment really bad, myself included. Healing time can also vary depending on the person, taking anywhere from days to weeks to months to fully clear up.
Also known as Pregnancy Mask, this type of hyperpigmentation is caused by a hormonal imbalance in the body and can appear as bigger patches on the skin, usually on the upper lip, forehead or upper cheeks. Although called pregnancy mask, it can happen to a lot of women who are on birth control pills, as there is an excess of hormones in the body that your liver is having trouble getting rid of. This type of hyperpigmentation is one of hardest to treat.
Also called sun spots, they are exactly as they sound and are caused by prolonged exposure to the sun.
Freckles are small clusters of hyperpigmentation that can either happen from birth of develop later in life, usually getting darker and more concentrated when exposed to the sun. They can happen anywhere on the body and/or face.
Treatment can include many different options like chemical peels, lasers, acids, or retinol, along with more natural treatments like cosmetic acupuncture, botanical skincare and derma rolling.
The #1 way to avoid any of the above from happening is avoiding excess sun exposure and SUNSCREEN! Its important no matter what root your take for treatment that you don’t hinder any progress by not wearing sunscreen and potentially making issues worse.
My personal favourite skincare products to use are ROSEHIP OIL which is high in Vitamin A and is so good for cellular regeneration. RETINOL/RETINOID which are vitamin A derivatives that promote cellular renewal at an accelerated rate. PAPAYA which has the enzyme Papain that is amazing for exfoliating + brightening the skin. GLYCOLIC ACID works well at smoothing + exfoliating the skin as well as boosting collagen. FRANKINCENSE + GERANIUM essential oils work wonders for reducing inflammation, lightening the skin and cellular regeneration which all help with hyperpigmentation. Try putting a drop of each in your rosehip oil at night to wake up to super glowy skin in the morning. DERMA ROLLING with a 0.5 size roller every 2 weeks to boost collagen production + help products penetrate deeper. KONJAC SPONGE for a daily gentle exfoliation to slough off dead skin and bring blood flow to the area, my fav is from @wyldskincare.
*You shouldn’t use all these products at once, I recommend seeing a skin therapist who can properly assess the skin and determine which option will be best for you!
I also recommend increasing water intake, exercising to move qi and eating lots of green veggies to make your liver happy. Oh, and getting COSMETIC ACUPUNCTURE is the best way to get your Qi moving in the area and increasing blood flow which allows you to ✨GLOW WITH THE FLOW✨
- Guest Contributor, Kacie Krecolowich R.Ac