The word pigmentation means coloring. Skin pigmentation is a disorder which affects the color of. Skin cells of human body create a substance that makes the color of skin. That substance is called melanin. Sometimes when these melanin producing cells become unhealthy or damaged, the pigmentation disorder appears on the skin. Some Pigmentation disorders affect a small area of skin, while others affect entire body. If a body produces too much melanin then the skin becomes darker. Similarly if a body produces too little melanin, then the skin tone gets lighter.
Following are the causes of skin pigmentation:
- Sun damage
- Genetic factors and medications
- Hormonal changes
- Drug reactions
- Auto immune conditions
The primary cause of skin pigmentation in a human body is the exposure of skin to the intense sunlight. Other factors which can cause the pigmentation include pregnancy, child birth, and use of pills for controlling child birth. People, who get treatment to increase the production of skin pigment locally, also suffer from the skin pigmentation problems. Pigmentation of the skin appears on human body as moles, liver spots, age spots. It also appears in shape of hyper pigmentation after locally damaging the skin. Another variant of skin pigmentation is freckle, which occurs due to irregular release of the pigment.
Following are some common skin pigmentation disorders in accordance with the intensity of pigmentation:
i) Hyper Pigmentation:
When a human body produces excessive melanin, then the skin tone becomes darker and the condition is called hyper pigmentation. It happens due to constant and intense exposure to the sun light. It can also happen due to reaction of medicines.
ii) Hypo Pigmentation:
This condition of skin pigmentation is opposite to the hyper pigmentation. When a human body fails to produce sufficient melanin the skin tone becomes lighter. The condition is known as Hypo Pigmentation. Its example is when a wound cures occasionally the damaged area loses pigmentation and a white patch appear on the skin.
This condition is almost similar to hypo pigmentation, except for the difference that it is termed as skin disease due to its peculiarity in the people with dark skin. More visible white patches appear on the wounded skin after healing.
A person suffering from this condition has pale complexion, white or yellow hair and light gray eyes. This has no cure.
Discoloration of the facial skin is called Melasma, which frequently affect women during pregnancy. This dark skin discoloration effect is found on those areas of face which are frequently exposed to the sunlight.
vi) Linchen Simplex Chronicus
In this condition severe itching is felt on skin, the skin become dark and thick patches appear.
vii) Solar Lentigo:
Body parts exposed to sun light suffer from this condition. The condition is also known as sun spot, liver spot and age spot.
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