Hyperpigmentation & mental health

When it comes to mental health and skincare I found a great deal of studies detailing the correlation between acne and mental health or eczema and mental but digging up studies looking at hyperpigmentation and mental health are not easy.

As I cover this series on hyperpigmentation I think it’s important to understand the mental health implication of hyperpigmentation, melasma and skin discolourations that can be distressing, increasing anxiety, leading to poor self-image and poor self-esteem. In some cultures and communities it can also lead to feelings of shame, insecurity and low self-worth because of the cultural and societal importance placed on an “ideal” skin colour.

In the journal “Psychological disturbances in patients with pigmentary disorders: a cross‐sectional study” (reference below and statistics quoted in the infographic above) the authors noted “Dermatologists are often focused only on remedying the cutaneous manifestations of these conditions, and it is easy to miss the psychiatric disorder lurking below,” ……“To achieve satisfactory clinical outcomes, both dermatological and psychiatric aspects of pigmentary disorders should be accurately identified and promptly addressed”. I believe many amazing dermatologists in the skincare community recognise this relationship.

Yet I believe it is important we all begin to understand the link between hyperpigmentation and mental health for all skins especially skin of colour who are more prone to it. At the same time those looking to treat their hyperpigmentation need to recognise time and patience can be important in resolving some types of hyperpigmentation and it is important during your time of treatment that you take care of your mental health and wellbeing. Surround yourself with supportive people and always get professional help if you need to!