Dry weather, cold temperatures, and low humidity can take a toll on your skin, worsening your hyperpigmentation. Follow these tips to manage it.
Frustrated with hyperpigmentation that won’t go away? It’s natural to feel frustrated when dark spots on your face do not fade away with time. Hyperpigmentation is basically a patch that looks darker than your natural skin tone due to overproduction of the brown pigment melanin. It is the most common issue among both females and males. Hyperpigmentation or skin discoloration can affect areas of skin, including the face, arms, and legs.
And do you know that hyperpigmentation can get worse during winter? Yes ladies, that’s true. We get in touch with Dr Nivedita Dadu, dermatologist, founder and chairman of Dadu medical centre, to understand why winter makes hyperpigmentation worse.
So let’s find out how dry or cold weather is responsible for making hyperpigmentation worse
During winter, basking in the sun causes the skin to become tanned. Also, sun exposure can also lead to dark pigmented patches, because melanin is transferred in an uneven manner. Repeated exposure to the sun causes the patches to become more persistent., which can increase the appearance of hyperpigmentation,” says Dr Dadu.
So, In winter, the skin also loses moisture and becomes dry. This makes the patches even more visible on the skin.
The skin is the body’s first line of defense against pathogens. When the weather changes and turns dry in the fall, the propensity for our skin tends to become dryer. In the winter season:
- Temperatures start to decrease
- The air is less humid and drier
- Airborne allergens get worse
All of these factors contribute to dryness and dehydration. “Dry skin leads to irritated skin. It lacks the ability to hold onto oil and water. The skin starts to become itchy, and that scratching leads to a rash. These can make your hyperpigmentation worse, says Dr Dadu.
Some causes of hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation or skin discoloration is the result of acne blemishes, freckles that have turned into sunspots, skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema all come under hyperpigmentation. The main cause for skin hyperpigmentation is overproduction of the brown pigment called melanin. Melanin is the pigment responsible for the colour of the skin and is made by melanocyte cells in the skin, says Dr Dadu.
Skin rashes like rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, contact dermatitis; skin Infections such as acne, ringworm, tinea versicolor, candidiasis, medical Conditions, and hormonal changes due to pregnancy can cause the formation of skin hyperpigmentation and dark patches. Certain external factors and medication can also cause dark patches or hyperpigmentation. Such as harmful UV rays, it can trigger the overproduction of melanin in the skin.
Here are a few tips to manage hyperpigmentation during winter:
1. Limit sun exposure
Limit sun exposure, or do it with due care.
2. Moisturise your skin
During winter, the skin should be kept moisturized at all times, especially if it is normal to dry skin.
3. Use nourishing cream
Apply a nourishing cream and massage it on the skin with a few drops of water. This helps to improve the skin’s ability to retain moisture.
4. Use alpha hydroxy acid products
Always go for skincare products that contain alpha hydroxy acid as it is good for reducing hyperpigmentation.
5. Apply sunscreen
Sunscreen is the most crucial ingredient to treat hyperpigmentation. Apply it every day, at least 15-20 minutes before heading out in the sun as it needs some time to get absorbed in the skin. Reapply sunscreen after every 4 hours or use physical sunscreen as it provides protection for a long duration. This will help to prevent and treat skin pigmentation.
6. Use scrub
Use scrubs and masks that help to remove dead skin cells and their contained pigment. This helps the dark patches to gradually become lighter. It can remove pigmentation. Even when the pigmented patches disappear, one should continue to use sunscreen.
7. Retinoids can help
Apply topical retinoids that are cream-based products containing ingredients derived from vitamin A. It can reduce acne by combating the overproduction of keratin in the hair follicles. Keratin overproduction leads to blockages and makes it difficult for dead skin cells to be removed.
If these tips don’t help, then consult a dermatologist who will suggest the best way forward for you according to your actual skin condition.