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Hyperpigmentation & Biking

californiagirl2010-12-12 17:03:42 +0000 #1
I'm 39 and recently developed a love of road biking. My husband is a serious biker so it was nice for us to finally find something that can reconnect us after the wedge that kids can create in a marriage.

Here's my problem. Six months ago, my dermatologist also told me that I developed a bad case of hyperpigmentation which means I have really dark spots now all around my left and right cheekbones and upperlip. I'm forced to stay out of the sun and wear lots of make up to cover the dark spots. The only treatment is skin bleachers, sunscreen, and staying out of the sun.

So, how do I keep on biking with my husband and still keep my hyperpigmentation from getting worse. I tried wearing one of those fullcoverage sunhats under my bike helmut last week and he almost fell off his bike laughing at how silly I looked. I must admit that I looked pretty ridiculous with the floppy hat, white face (I had to put on a layer of zinc oxide on top of sunscreen) and lipstick.

Is there anyone out there who has battled hyperpigmentation? Any advice for continuing my rides while protecting my face or do I need to give up the road bike?


Biciclista2010-12-12 17:10:00 +0000 #2
you could move to Seattle.

I don't think anyone here can give you a better answer than your doctor. Good luck.

We worry here about not getting ENOUGH sun!
moonfroggy2010-12-12 17:18:48 +0000 #3
could you do rides super early and watch the sun ride or late in the day when there is less light and use really good bike lights for visibility? also wear very bright yellow clothing maybe?
marni2010-12-12 17:16:17 +0000 #4
another thought is that synthetic sweeteners increase the sensitivity of the skin to sun. This may not be a cure but you could do worse than cut out all of the synthetic sweeteners. It will take a long time before you see any difference, but for me, at least, the change is noticable on my arms and on my face. I will add that I was not suffering from hyperpicmentation but definitely showing larger and larger " age spots." which have since declined and ceased as long as I am systematic with sun screen before, during and after the ride.

Zen2010-12-12 17:40:55 +0000 #5

Originally Posted by marni

another thought is that synthetic sweeteners increase the sensitivity of the skin to sun.

In some people.

There are many drugs and ingredients that can cause this.
Susan2010-12-12 18:38:57 +0000 #6
I have hyperpigmentation too on my cheeks. All women in my family have

The spots where quite dark first, but have become better and better. Now, if you don't know where to look, you could not tell that there are darker spots on my face. (You can still see the spots if looking really close.)

What I have done: I use sunblocker (50+) on my face every day and really try to never forget it. I have a sunscreen (that isn't greasy) that I use just after washing my face. When I know I will stay in the sun for a longer period of time, for example when I do a MTB tour or go swimming, I use a Mineral-based sunscreen 50+ (it's like Make-up, in a skintone) on top of that. When the days get dark in winter I use it only on the darker spots, not on the whole face.

I also try to avoid direct sun on my face as much as possible. So I wear hats or my bikehelmet or stay in the shadow if possible. I also am under the impression that the reflections of of some sunglasses don't do any good on my cheeks, so I bought a pair of very big ones that don't end right where my dark spots are (don't know if it is understandable what I mean?).

It was about four years ago when I first developed that dark spots. It took some time for them to become lighter. They always become lighter in winter and darker in summer, but they are hardly noticeable today and we had some quite sunny weeks this summer.

I guess it's harder to get rid of the spots if you live in a very hot climate. But don't give up, it takes some time, but it really gets better if you protect your skin from sun.

I never gave up cycling or doing what I want to do!

I wish you the best!




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