Skin Pigmentation | What Types Of Pigmentation Are There

Types of Skin Pigmentation

Our skin normally pigments under the influence of melanin, a substance which protects the skin cells for UV radiation. Melanin also determines the skin color of an individual. When melanin is not produced in a constant moderate amount, the skin can become discolored.

There are many types of skin pigmentation according to their cause and characteristics. If you want to know more about the types of skin pigmentation, the details are below.

•    Ephelides/Freckles

These are common to people who have fair skin. Freckles are hereditary blemishes, usually brown spots on the cheeks, chest or any area exposed to the sun. Having some freckles can make you look nice but when it is too many, it could be a nuisance.

•    Solar Lentigines

This type of pigmentation is popularly known as liver spots or age spots. This is caused by dead cells that are left on skin and causing dark pigmentation.   Age spots commonly appear on sun exposed areas. They resemble freckles but their causes are different.

•    Melasma

Melasma occurs more in women than in men. Women who take birth control pills are more prone to having melasma. They are dark irregular patches usually found on the facial area, especially the cheeks, nose and the forehead. There are two kinds of melasma, the epidermal and dermal melasma. In the case of epidermal melasma, it is only mild because it only affects the epidermis. Dermal melasma is much worse because it is situated deeply under the skin.

•    Chloasma

It is one of the signs of pregnancy. Sun exposure can aggravate this situation. This also emerges on the stomach area.

All of the conditions mentioned above are examples of hyperpigmentation, since they involve the excessive amounts of melanin on skin. It’s time to discuss hypopigmentation, the reverse of hyperpigmentation. And to make it simple these conditions are cause by lack of melanin on skin.

•    Skin Damage

The skin may also lose pigment due to wounds.

•    Albinism

This condition is the lack of melanin on skin.   This causes some albino people to have very light skin, hair and eye color. There is a gene which restricts the production of melanin in albino people. Albinism should be taken care of with great caution since without melanin, the skin is in danger of developing cancer and other skin damage brought by the sun.

•    Vitiligo

The common symptoms of vitiligo are smooth white patches on skin. Vitiligo is cause by damage in pigment producing cells, and is classified as an autoimmune disorder.   Since there is no cure for it yet, all a patient can do is to hide it with make up.

Cure for these conditions should be administered after medical consultation. Doing self treatment can make it worse, so don’t take the risk.

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