Hyperpigmentation and Dark Circles

Ariel Bailey
By: Chief Beauty Advisor  |  Ariel Bailey

There are many causes for dark circles, including a lack of iron or lack of sleep. These issues cause the delicate capillaries under the eyes to expand, which eventually leads to dark circles. These problems can be quickly solved with most anti-dark circle products, but sometimes there are those dark circles that seem to be stubborn. Even with adequate sleep, a good diet, and daily vitamins, you still cannot seem to shake them. If this sounds like you, perhaps your dark circles may be the result of hyperpigmentation.

In this article:

  1. What is Hyperpigmentation?
  2. What Causes Hyperpigmentation?
  3. Treating Dark Circles Caused By Hyperpigmentation
  4. Laser Hyperpigmentation Treatment
  5. Treating Hyperpigmentation with Hydroquinone
  6. Other Means Of Treatment

Hyperpigmentation is the result of too much melanin, which causes skin darkening. Here we’ll talk about hyperpigmentation, help you find out if the dark circles you struggle with are caused by hyperpigmentation, and discover how you can treat problems with hyperpigmentation and dark circles. By learning about the cause of your dark circles, you are making progress in getting rid of them.

What is Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation and Dark Circles
Dark circles can be a sign of underlying health concerns.

Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that many people around the world suffer from. It is caused by excessive melanin production, which causes large, dark patches of skin develop. Hyperpigmentation is more common in people with darker skin tones from regions such as Africa, Asia, and the Middle East

Common results of hyperpigmentation are freckles, liver spots, brown spots, dark circles, age spots, and pregnancy-related skin discoloration.  

Thankfully,  the condition of Hyperpigmentation is usually harmless, the only symptom being the darkening of the skin and not adversely affecting the internal workings of the body. 

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

What is Hyperpigmentation?
A day at the beach is one of the best ways to relax, but too many can be bad for our skin, especially without proper protection.

Sun exposure, scarring, and genetics are some of the factors involved in hyperpigmentation.

Age spots, also called liver spots, are caused by hyperpigmentation brought about by sun damage. Skin discoloration from scarring, acne, and burns also result from hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation can also be caused by genetics. For example, freckles can be inherited; genetics, hormones, and sunlight are all factors in the appearance of this type of hyperpigmentation. People of Indian descent are predisposed to severe under-eye darkening.

Marks from pregnancy are another type of hyperpigmentation. These marks are brought on by changes in hormone levels. Signs such as a darker abdomen or face develop as a result. Hormone-based birth control can also contribute to hyperpigmentation. Once the pregnancy is over or birth control use is discontinued, hormone levels go back to normal and the hyperpigmentation ceases.

Other additional causes can include a new tattoo, tanning in booths or beds, or tanning lotions. If you love that golden bronzed look, opt for the natural sun whenever possible, with plenty of SPF. It’ll be slower going to achieve that goal, but you lessen your risk of burns and skin cancers.

Treating Dark Circles Caused By Hyperpigmentation

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?
A knowledgeable dermatologist is our skin’s best friend.

If you think your dark circles may be brought on by hyperpigmentation instead of other factors, it is advisable to talk with your dermatologist about which dark circle treatment is right for you. With all the products available, you want to find the one that will work best for you. This is especially true if you have tried all the creams and lotions, done the natural extracts and slept for days. If your dark circles don’t give in by then, it’s a sign that the problem might not be one you can fix on your own, and it’s time for medical intervention. 

Laser Hyperpigmentation Treatment

Treating Dark Circles Caused By Hyperpigmentation
For some, lasering for Hyperpigmentation can be as easy as an afternoon appointment.

Nowadays, there are laser treatments for hyperpigmentation. These treatments, though highly effective for some, may not work for others. Consult your doctor to find out if laser treatments are right for you. Your doctor will do what is called a tester spot on an unnoticeable area of your skin. This testing will reveal if your skin will take to the laser treatments—if the skin darkens, laser treatment will create darker skin and not lighter skin for you.

There are specialized lasers, such as the Q-switched ruby, which target specific pigments. These specialty lasers work to remove excess pigment without causing scarring. 

Treating Hyperpigmentation with Hydroquinone

Laser Hyperpigmentation Treatment
Hydroquinone is an incredibly powerful bleaching agent. 

Hydroquinone is a skin whitening ingredient that’s found in many dark circles treatments. The most common amount of hydroquinone in these products is 2%, the strongest amount you can use without irritating the skin.

With hydroquinone, however, there are greater risk factors, mainly in the form of ochronosis, black spots that appear on the skin. Hydroquinone has also been linked to cancer and has even been banned in Europe and much of Asia.

Other Means Of Treatment

Treating Hyperpigmentation with Hydroquinone
Nothing works for everyone, but thankfully there are TONS of formulas out there, so it’s more or less guaranteed something will work for you.

Thankfully, there are alternatives for those that don’t want to deal with laser treatments or hydroquinone-based hyperpigmentation treatments. Chemical peels and intense pulsed light are other methods used for treating hyperpigmentation. But if you would prefer not to have a dermal procedure done,  there is a cornucopia of products that you can use at home They are specifically designed to fight dark circles- even those that come from hyperpigmentation. We’ve even reviewed and ranked the top products on the market in our dark circle creams reviews to find a solution that will work for you.

Ariel Bailey
Chief Beauty Advisor
Ariel was fed up with all the nonsense information out there. So, she has dedicated over 25 years and written 100's of articles to help millions of people be properly educated from products, to latest innovations, and to anything else beauty related.

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