The scientific definition of Hyper-Pigmentation is an increased pigmentation of the skin. This is brought about by an uneven distribution of melanin over the skin's surface. The production of melanin begins with melanocyte cells in the germinative layer of the epidermis. These cells transform into melanosoma as they mature and make their way up through the epidermal layers. By the time the cell reaches the mucosum layer, melanin (pigment) granules are present.

When the cells reach the stratum corneum they are fully transformed into melanin. Melanin acts as a protective filter, shielding the skin from the harmful effects of the sun's radiation. A suntan, in fact is the result of an increase in melanin production as these cells work overtime to protect the skin.

Random spots of discoloration on the face and body are known as melasma. This is a localized hyper-pigmentation; there is simply an overabundance of melanin pigment in a given area. Melasma may be brought on by surface skin irritation, hormonal imbalances caused by pregnancy, the use of birth control pills, menopause, or nervous disorders.

The other type of pigmentation condition is lentigo, commonly referred to as age spots. Age spots occur when there is an uneven accumulation of melanin deposits in the surface layers of the epidermis.

Hyperpigmentation can be an isolated problem, such as the dark circles underneath the eyes, or it can include the face and décolleté. The severity can range from a slight discoloration and unevenness in skin tone to dark spots and age spots randomly appearing on the face.

The concerns the client may exhibit

  • Discoloration of the skin.

  • Dark spots.

  • Uneven skin tone.

  • Age spots.
These concerns usually stem from

  • Overabundance of melanin pigment in a specific area.

  • Pregnancy, birth control pills, menopause, nervous disorders and surface irritation such as severe sunburn or acne.

  • Uneven accumulation of melanin deposits in the epidermal surface layers.

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