Many people have some form of hyperpigmentation, and it is usually harmless. Freckles and moles are more common in fair-skinned people. They can darken with exposure to the sun, so sunscreen is necessary to prevent them from getting darker.
Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation that is sometimes referred to as a pregnancy mask. The dark spots on the skin can be large and appear on the face and the abdomen. Some women develop melasma while taking birth control pills. It is caused by hormones and usually goes away after the pregnancy ends or the pills are stopped.
Addison’s disease is a rare condition in which the body does not produce enough cortisol. In addition to the darkening of the skin, Addison’s disease causes weakness, fatigue, changes in heart rate, and salt craving. This condition is easily treated with medication and should be ruled out when hyperpigmentation is present.
Treatments available include chemical peels and laser treatments. Be sure to consult with Dr. Zizmor for treatment options that will achieve the best possible results.