Skin pigmentation is basically what is called the human body’s skin coloring. Melanin, a substance made by the body’s skin cells (melanocytes), determines what kind of skin color a person will exhibit. Skin pigmentation depends on what an individual’s racial origin is as well as the amount of sunlight they are usually exposed to.
Typically mentioned when discussing skin pigmentation are skin problems and terms like freckles, flat moles, liver spots, brown spots, age spots, sun spots, solar lentigo, actinic keratosis, seborrheic keratosis, port-wine stains, birthmarks, melasma, chloasma, mask of pregnancy, acne scarring, wound scarring, and post-inflammatory pigmentation. The terms stated above all have some kind of connection with skin pigmentation. This is because skin disorders usually surface as discolorations of the skin.
Irregularities related with the production of the skin’s melanin are typically the main cause of skin pigmentation disorders. Damaged skin cells or unhealthy skin cells influence the body’s production of melanin which in turn causes abnormalities in skin pigmentation.
The entire individual’s body can be affected by skin pigmentation abnormalities but they can also show up as small patches only. Generally speaking, problems with skin pigmentation are usually divided into two classifications: hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation. The first classification, hypopigmentation, is concerned with the irregular reduction of skin color while hyperpigmentation is concerned with irregular increased skin color.
What are the causes for the occurrence of hyperpigmentation? It occurs when there is an excessive production of the skin’s melanin. The result is an individual having darker skin pigmentation that is really not their usual skin color. Dyschromia is the other name for hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation usually appears on the face as well as the hands and arms.
Categorized under dyschromia are age spots, sun spots, liver spots, freckles, and melasma. The reasons for dyschromia include heredity, pregnancy, acne, failed skin treatments, Addison’s disease, hormonal changes, and sun exposure. In the case of hypopigmentation, melanin that is reduced in amount makes the skin lighter than it actually should be. Pityriasis alba, Tinea versicolor, blisters, burns, vitiligo, infections albinism, etc. are just some of the causes behind the reduced melanin production in hypopigmentation.
Regardless of what type of skin pigmentation problem one has, it commonly makes the person unsatisfied with the skin they have. This is the reason why many individuals look for ways to treat their skin pigmentation problems medically. The discolorations can be treated through various ways. Creams are used as one way for lots of people to treat their skin. These creams help alleviate the discoloration that is caused by pigmentation problems. People also make use of skin lightening products which have retinoids, kojic acid, hydroquinone and Vitamin C.
A an individual’s skin color is always a major issue when it comes to looks. This is why it is not unexpected that so much effort and money today are invested in researching and developing treatments for disorders related to skin pigmentation.