Classification and external resources
ICD-10 L81.0-L81.4
ICD-9 709.0
DiseasesDB 24638
MeSH D017495

In dermatology, hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin or nails caused by increased melanin.



Hyperpigmentation may be caused by sun damage, inflammation, or other skin injuries, including those related to acne vulgaris.[1] People with darker Asian, Mediterranean or African skin tones are also more prone to hyperpigmentation, especially if they have excess sun exposure.

Many forms of hyperpigmentation are caused by an excess production of melanin. Hyperpigmentation can be diffuse or focal, affecting such areas as the face and the back of the hands. Melanin is produced by melanocytes at the lower layer of the epidermis. Melanin is a class of pigment responsible for producing color in the body in places such as the eyes, skin, and hair. As the body ages, melanocyte distribution becomes less diffuse and its regulation less controlled by the body. UV light stimulates melanocyte activity, and where concentrations of the cells are denser than surrounding areas, hyperpigmentation is effected.[2] Can also be caused by using skin lightening lotions.

Hyperpigmentation is associated with a number of diseases or conditions, including:

Hyperpigmentation can sometimes be induced by dermatological laser procedures.


Treatment of hyperpigmentation may include hydroquinone, kojic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, azelaic acid, ascorbic acid, tretinoin (Retinol), topical glucocorticoids, and licorice extract.

See also


  1. ^ "Hyperpigmentation". Dermatalogic Disease Database. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/hyperpigmentation.html. Retrieved 2006-03-08. 
  2. ^ Hyperpigmentation (Age Spots) Hyperpigmentation, Chloasma & Melasma, KAVI.

External links

Hyperpigmentation Treatment