What is the difference between hyperpigmentation and pigmentation


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    Hyperpigmentation and pigmentation are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to distinct processes in the skin. Pigmentation broadly refers to the coloration of the skin, which can be influenced by melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color. It’s a natural process that gives our skin its unique tone and can vary based on genetics, sun exposure, and hormonal changes. Pigmentation can include both hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation, with the former involving an excess of melanin and the latter a deficiency.

    On the other hand, hyperpigmentation specifically refers to areas of the skin that have darkened or developed patches of color beyond the surrounding skin tone. This can occur due to various factors such as sun exposure, hormonal changes (like during pregnancy or with certain medical conditions), inflammation, or skin injuries like acne scars. Hyperpigmentation often appears as freckles, age spots, melasma, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), where areas of the skin darken after healing from an injury or inflammation.

    Understanding the difference is important for skincare because treatments for hyperpigmentation may differ from those for overall pigmentation concerns. For example, treatments for hyperpigmentation may include topical creams with ingredients like hydroquinone or retinoids, chemical peels, laser therapy, or microdermabrasion. Conversely, addressing overall pigmentation may involve sun protection, maintaining skin hydration, and using products that promote overall skin health and balance without necessarily targeting specific areas of hyperpigmentation.

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