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Familial acanthosis nigricans2.jpg
Classification and external resources
Specialty Dermatology
ICD-10 L81.0-L81.4
ICD-9-CM 709.0
DiseasesDB 24638
MeSH D017495

Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin or nails caused by increased melanin.


Hyperpigmentation can 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 more prone to hyperpigmentation, especially with 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 concentration of the cells is greater, hyperpigmentation occurs. Another form of hyperpigmentation is post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. These are dark and discolored spots that appear on the skin following acne that has healed.[2]

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

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. Sunscreen may help to prevent these dark spots.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hyperpigmentation". Dermatalogic Disease Database. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Retrieved 2006-03-08. 
  2. ^ Hyperpigmentation on Face (Acne Scars} Hyperpigmentation, Dark Spots, Acne Scars, Meladerm".

External links[edit]

Dark Spot Remover