What Causes Skin Darkening
The single cause of skin darkening is the production of dark skin pigment melanin in the skin’s melanocyte cells. When there is large amount of melanin produced in the skin, the skin will become darker. There are several factors affecting the amount of melanin produced in the skin.
- Skin type
People with particular skin types, which are usually determined by their race, are born with certain predetermined levels of melanin. Even people with the same race may develop varying levels of melanin production. This is why some of them have fairer skin whereas the others have darker skin.
- Exposure to sunray
People with much exposure to sunray will produce higher amount of melanin in their skin. The more they are exposed to sunray, the darker their skin will be. This is because melanin is actually used to naturally protect the skin from the harmful effect of the sun.
On people with lighter complexion, the overproduction of melanin caused by sun exposure may evoke the emergence of a skin disorder called age spots or sunspots. In people with darker skin, sunspots rarely appear because their skin generally has already had enough melanin to counter the harm of the sun.
When the skin is injured, hyperpigmentation of the skin may occur. The injury may be caused by either external factors, such as wounding, or internal factors, such as acne. This is, again, triggered by protective measure taken by the body.
Pregnant women are also prone to at least two conditions that may cause skin darkening. The first is melasma, which often appears on their face in the form of dark spots on the skin, and the second is linea nigra, which is a vertical dark line appearing on their abdomen.
Both conditions are caused by the activity of female hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone. This results in the increased activity of melanocytes and increased production of melanin. This skin darkening problem becomes even more problematic because pregnant women are mostly prohibited to use even the best skin lightening cream for dark skin.
- Various health conditions that may trigger the increase production of melanin, including porphyria, Cushing’s disease, acanthosis nigricans, Addison’s disease, Grave’s disease, Nelson’s syndrome, etc.
The varying factors of skin darkening means that the problem often cannot be simply treated by applying even the best skin lightening cream for dark skin to the affected skin. If the underlying cause of the problem is not addressed properly, the skin whitening effect will only occur temporarily or even worse, the cream may cause unwanted effects to the skin.
Proper diagnosis performed by a doctor or dermatologist is necessary to determine the safest and the most effective treatment for the darkening skin. If the underlying cause of the problem has been successfully dealt with, patients can use cream to lighten the affected area of their skin.