Melanin defends our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, and it also gives our skin pigment. The lesser the melanin, the brighter the skin will be. But when melanin is overproduced or underproduced, the skin will be tarnished.
Skin pigmentation has different cause and effects. The most common types of skin pigmentation are mentioned below.
People with light skin are the common victims of freckles. They appear on the cheeks, chest, shoulder. They may enhance or worsen one’s appearance.
• Solar Lentigines
Solar lentigines are also known as sun spots or age spots. Damaged melanocytes which are not disposed of properly can cause discoloration. They are commonly found on the hands and face. They resemble freckles but their causes are different.
Melasma occurs more in women than in men. Due to hormonal imbalance when taking contraceptive pills, women are more susceptible in having melasma. Melasma occurs like brown patches on the face or any part of the body. Two variety of melasma are the epidermal and dermal. Epidermal melasma is superficial, it only affects the upper epidermis. Dermal melasma is much worse because it is situated deeply under the skin.
It is one of the effects of pregnancy. Excessive sun exposure can aggravate this condition. This can also appear on the abdomen.
The abovementioned pigmentation troubles are caused by too much pigmentation. In contrast with that, we’ll discuss hypopigmentation next. And to make it simple these conditions are cause by lack of melanin 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 is the complete absence of melanin. Albinos are known for their pale skin, pale hair and eye color. There is a gene which confines the production of melanin in albino people. Albinos are very susceptible to skin cancer.
Vitiligo is manifested by white blemishes 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.
One should seek for medical advice before going through any medication of these skin conditions. Doing self treatment can make it worse, so don’t take the risk.