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. But when melanin is overproduced or underproduced, the skin will be stained.

There are many types of skin pigmentation according to their cause and characteristics. The most common types of skin pigmentation are mentioned 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

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.   They are commonly found on the hands and face. They resemble freckles but their causes are different.

•    Melasma

Men are less concerned with by melasma than women. Women who take birth control pills are more prone to having melasma. The most common signs of melasma are dark brown patches on skin. Melasma can be either epidermal or dermal. Epidermal melasma is superficial, it only affects the upper epidermis. Dermal melasma is skin deep so it could be difficult to cure.

•    Chloasma

It is one of the signs of pregnancy. This can be exacerbated if one stays long hours under the sun. 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. Hypopigmentation translate to the loss of pigment on skin.

•    Skin Damage

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

•    Albinism

Albinism is the complete absence of melanin.   Albinos are popular for their pale skin, pale hair and eye color. People who have albinism have a gene which restricts melanin production. Albinos have a greater risk of skin cancer.

•    Vitiligo

Dark people with white patches of skin may have vitiligo. Vitiligo is cause by damage in pigmentation producing cells, and is classified as an autoimmune disorder.   There is no cure for vitiligo up to now, but there are some ways like make up to conceal vitiligo.

One should ask a dermatologist first before treating these skin problems. Treating yourself without the discretion of experts can be dangerous.

Pigmentation Further ReadingPigmentation Further Reading:

Pigmentation – Hyperpigmentation

Pigmentation – Hypopigmentation