How To Reduce And Prevent Hyperpigmentation? 

How To Reduce And Prevent Hyperpigmentation? 

Sunlight Protection

Although spending time outside is a great way to be physically active, reduce stress and get vitamin D, proper sun protection is essential to keep pigmentation away.

Why is it so important to protect ourselves from sunlight?

Sunlight contains UVA, UVB & UVC

  1. UV light can cause pigmentation formation 
  2. UV light can cause skin cancer
  3. UV light can cause photo-aging!!!

How to protect your skin from the sun?

  1. Use sunscreen every day, even it’s a cloudy day.
  2. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects both UVA & UVB radiation. 
  3. Reapply sunscreen every three and four hours. Reapply every hour if you are outdoor.
  4. Use protective shades such as umbrella or hat whenever possible. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through.
  5. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. For additional protection, look for clothes made with special sun-protective material.
  6. Be more cautious if you are taking medication that may make you more sensitive to the sun.
  7. Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB to protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure.
  8. Try not to schedule outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.


Hydration plays a major role in the prevention of hyperpigmentation. 

In our study, it was found that pigmented skin is characterized by impaired stratum corneum integrity and delayed barrier recovery rate. Biophysical measurement of pigmented skin demonstrated a tendency toward higher trans epidermal water loss values (TEWL- tendency to loss water) despite there is normal skin hydration state and sebum content. 

Furthermore, a trend toward a thinned stratum corneum was observed for pigmented skin, which also suggests that there is lower barrier recovery rate. The stratum corneum acts as a protective layer against the UV rays and reduction in stratum corneum integrity and thinning of the stratum corneum will make our skin more prone to photo damage which will increase the likelihood of developing pigment on our skin. Hence the barrier function should be maintained by and repaired by applying good-quality moisturizers.

Lifestyle modification

Stress can induce stress hormone called Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) which will triggers melanogenesis. Therefore,

  1. Ensuring quality sleep of at least 7 hours per day
  2. Meditation, yoga or breathing exercises to reduce stress symptoms
  3. Regular physical exercise 
  4. Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
  5. Balanced, healthy and wholesome diet

Squeezing and scratching can cause inflammation of the surrounding skin leaving post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)

Avoid manual extraction of comedones. 

Percentage of women getting melasma is higher than men mainly because of hormones. Studies has found that elevated of oestrogen level is associated with increased skin hyperpigmentation. This is why melasma is often observed in pregnant ladies and those using oral contraceptive pills and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Therefore,

  1. Avoid use of oral contraceptive pills if possible
  2. Avoid unnecessary hormone replacement therapy


Avoid improper use of skin lightening agent

Skin lightening also known as skin bleaching. It works by reducing the concentration or production of melanin in the skin. Over the years, skin lightening agents has become a popular cosmetic practice in the cosmetic industry. 

Most of the skin lightening agents contain hydroquinone, mercury, corticosteroid and etc. With limited use, skin lightening agents may not cause excessive side effects. However when it is used over prolonged period of time and at inappropriate concentration, the risk of adverse reactions is increased.

In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a notice that over-the-counter (OTC) skin bleaching agents are not recognized as safe and effective.

The possible adverse reactions are post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), thinning of skin, dermatitis, exogenous ochronosis, steroid induced acne and mercury poisoning in serious case. 

Therefore, consult medical experts if you wish to start a skin lightening agent.