9 Causes of pigmentation

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The causes of  pigmentation depend on various factors.

These factors are bound to the outcome of producing dark patches on the skin, especially on the face.

The formation of dark spots or dark patches on the face over a long period of time is known as pigmentation.

Pigmentation if not taking care of, might lead to hyperpigmentation which may be difficult to treat.

It may occur to both men and women. There are various causes of pigmentation, from sunburnt to hormonal changes, genetics to bad hygiene, skin diseases to medication.


Pigmentation is essentially caused due to excess production of melanin by melanocyte cells of our body.

There are many factors that encourage the abnormal increase production of melanin in the body.

In general here are the factors that cause pigmentation.

  • Due to hormonal changes that take place inside the body, leading to the production of the excess amount of melanin- a dark pigment.
  • Longer exposure to the sun without using any sunscreen, which leads to skin damage by UV rays from the sun.
  • By squeezing pimples and acne constantly, making the blood capillaries to break down and form spots.
  • Genetic factor.
  • Medication which leads to pigmentation as a side effect.

In order to prevent pigmentation, understanding about it causes is important.

Recommended: How to remove pigmentation without using cosmetics


Here are the most common causes of pigmentation.


One of the most common formations of pigmentation is the fluctuation in the production of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone which leads to melasma, an increase in melanin production.

Increases in hormonal changes lead to excess production of melanin on the skin and hence melasma formation takes place.

Hormonal changes occur mostly during pregnancy or due to birth control pills and it usually disappears post-pregnancy, but may not be the case with everyone.

The changes in hormones also happen during adolescence, where an imbalance production takes place and dark patches started to form on the skin.


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The longer you expose yourself to the sun the greater will be the damage it does to your skin.

Exposure to the sun leads to skin damage such as sunburnt and formation of skin tanned which may disappear on its own.

But in most cases, sunburnt often leads to pigmentation.

The skin becomes inflamed when exposed to the sun and the levels of inflammation depend on the duration we exposed.

When the inflammation increases, the body produce hormones to protect the skin. These hormones cause many reactions to the skin.

The first reaction is, to produce melanocytes which leads to the production of a melanin-a dark pigment that affects the skin.

Melanin is meant to protect the skin from inflammation, but excess production damage the skin!

The production of melanin may be permanent or temporary depends on how long we exposed ourselves to the sun without any protection. That’s why using sunscreen is so important.


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Pimples and acne are the main causes of skin rupture and damage.

When the skin ruptured it also leads to excess production of melanin. Any rupture on the skin produces an inflammatory reaction.

Sometimes when the skin got damage badly through squeezing and plucking, it may not be able to generate healthy hormones and hence the darker pigments accumulate more and more on that particular area leading to the formation of pigmentation.

Suffering from skin diseases such as Eczema leads to excess production of melanin in the body.

Past skin problem is also a condition which later developed pigmentation.


When the skin experiences any kind of allergy, it caused inflammation which leads to skin irritation and rashes begins to appear on the skin.

This kind of allergy reaction sometimes activate the melanocytes cells and lead to skin pigmentation.


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We know that many medicines have a side effect in one way or the other.

Some medicines such as retinoids, anti-seizure drugs, hormones medication, non-steroid drugs and thyroid, formed pigmentation as a side effect.

These medications may have hormonal changes in the body which leads to the abnormal production of melanin.

Some facial creams that we used too instead of inhibiting the growth of melanin yet they activate its excess production. Using facial product wisely based on our skin type is important to avoid any skin damage.


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Some of us are born with fair skin while others with freckles. Pigmentation is also a condition that formed in your DNA, though sometimes it might skip a generation.

If someone in your family has severe hyper-pigmentation then there are chances that you too might face the same condition.

Even skin allergy is genetics too. Having sensitive skin makes the matter even worse.

Pigmentation is a skin condition which leads to the appearance of a dark spot or dark patches on the skin. This skin condition is more common in people of Asian, African and Mediterranean races. There are mild variations of pigmentation formation from one ethnic to the other.


Addison’s disease is a disease which affects the adrenal gland, not the skin, but this gland has an effect on the formation of some hormones which leads to skin darkening.

Consult your doctor if in any case, this might happen.


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Well, this is not very common but in some cases, it might. This yeast usually grows in hot, humid weather, making the skin red and later turn into pigmentation.

Most people who suffer from this kind of pigmentation are those who visited these places with very hot and humid climates during summers.

The best way to avoid it is to used anti-fungal treatment.


Diseases such as cancer, eczema and many chronic diseases often lead to the formation of pigmentation.

With prolong medication and side effect, many changes take place in the body that release the excess production of melanocytes.

Diseases itself caused damage to skin and body tissues especially chronic diseases where the body needs more time to heal.


Here’s are a few simple steps to protect the causes of pigmentation.

  • Use Sunscreen

Always apply sunscreen while going out.

Used Natural Organic sunscreen with fewer chemicals or use Homemade sunscreen, with the right SPF for your skin type.

For homemade sunscreen, you may like to check this out: How to make natural organic sunscreen at home

  • Fresh fruits and veggies

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Eat fresh fruits and green vegetables every day.

A mixture of fresh fruits helps balance the hormones in the body and make your skin glow.

  • Water is the source of beauty

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated all day, especially during the hot seasons.

Avoid soda drinks, instead used fresh juice or fruits to quench your thirst.

If you are under some medications, drink as much water as you can to prevent the side effect caused by some medicines that lead to excess melanin production.

Eating a healthy diet for breakfast and lunch will boost your body to fight against the diseases and reduce the risk and effect of medication on the body.

  • Sleep Well

Be regular with your daily routine such as sleep habits, eating habits and exercise.

A good personal hygiene of your skin and body should be maintained throughout.

Be smart, eat smart and live smartly.


Causes of pigmentation


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