Skin Pigmentation | What Types Of Pigmentation Are There

August 14, 2010

in Uncategorized

Types of Skin Pigmentation

Melanin protects our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, and it also gives our skin pigment. Melanin also determines the skin color of an individual. The lesser the melanin, the lighter the skin will be. When melanin is not produced in a constant moderate amount, the skin can become discolored.

Skin pigmentation has various cause and effects. For more information about the types of skin pigmentation, read on.

•    Ephelides/Freckles

These are common to people who have fair skin. They show on the cheeks, chest, shoulder. Having some freckles can make you look nice but when it is too many, it could be a nuisance.

•    Solar Lentigines

These dark spots are also referred to as age spots or sun spots. They are commonly derived from accumulated damaged melanocytes, which crumple together, thus producing dark spots on skin.   Age spots commonly appear on sun exposed areas. The sun can damage skin in excessive amounts.

•    Melasma

Melasma occurs more in women than in men. This could be due to hormones, because women who are taking oral contraceptives are more prone to having them. The most common signs of melasma are dark brown patches on skin. There are two types of melasma, the epidermal and dermal melasma. In the case of epidermal melasma, it is only subtle because it only affects the epidermis. Dermal melasma is much worse because it is situated deeply under the skin.

•    Chloasma

Pregnant women are more likely to have chloasma. This can be exacerbated if one stays long hours under the sun. This also appears on the stomach area.

The abovementioned pigmentation problems are caused by too much pigmentation. In contrast with that, we’ll talk about hypopigmentation next. Hypopigmentation translate to the absence of pigment on skin.

•    Skin Damage

Damaged skin, due to wounds or the like may cause some pigment loss for some time but it is only temporary.

•    Albinism

Albinism is due to the deficiency of melanin.  Albinos are known for their pale skin, pale hair and eye color. They have a gene which impedes the production of pigment. Albinos have a greater danger of skin cancer.

•    Vitiligo

Dark people with white patches of skin may have vitiligo. 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 cover it with make up.

One should seek for medical advice before going through any medication of these skin conditions. Self treatment can be more hazardous.

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