..."My son just quit a job he loved and that paid well. When I asked why he'd make such a decision, he pointed at all the dark spots on his face and said, 'This is why!'
You know the sun is the biggest skin discoloration cause out there, but you might not know these other common, yet unexpected culprits.
Activities that heat up your body can also flip the switch on pigment production. This is especially troublesome for people with genetic backgrounds that include high pigment cell concentrations. Even those with very light skin who carry Hispanic, Middle Eastern or Asian genes can be surprised when brown spots and blotchiness seem to show up out of nowhere.
Here's a list of common, though unsuspected, hyper pigmentation triggers:
- Hot yoga
- Sauna or hot tub
- Gym workouts
- Cologne, aftershave or fragranced lotions
- Cooking and tending steamy work stations in restaurants (The basis of the short story above)
- Hormone replacement or birth control pills
- Allergies that make you itch and scratch
- Itchy clothing - think wool, some synthetic fabrics, starched collars
- Picking at blemishes
- Bug bites
- Waxing (hot wax use)
- Plucking hair
- Shaving with dull razors
- Certain medications
- Aggressive skin care products
Practical advice says avoid environments or activities that you suspect are triggering pigmentation problems, but that's not always possible.
Ways to Turn Down the Heat
- If you suspect your skin is not happy with being hot, finding ways to keep cooler will help. This might include periodically spritzing your face with chilled water if you're working in a hot location or restaurant, wrapping your neck with a cool wrap at the gym, bumping down to yoga that's not "hot".
- If you see discoloration confined to your neck or body area where you routinely spray or splash cologne, the culprit's likely a chemical reaction. Try spraying in the air and walking through the spray mist after you're dressed instead.
- Dark pinpoint spots where you pluck hairs from eyebrows, upper lip or chin? Ice down the area a little before and after. Same for waxing. Waxing itself traumatizes skin; hot wax doubles the potential trouble. If you do wax, go for the cold variety.
- If you've embraced the use of exfoliants, be sure they aren't overstimulating your skin and causing redness, which can trigger blotchy skin quite easily.
Outside? Please Use Sunscreen - even on overcast days!
If you already have spots and blotches and need professional help, there are procedures and technologies and products that can help reverse them. Learn about pigment reduction here.