Skin Pigmentation

Skin pigmentation is the basis of all skin problems one can think of. By itself skin pigmentation is not a skin disease. Skin pigmentation is a natural thing. An imbalance in skin pigmentation is the after effect of all the skin diseases. Even burns cause skin pigmentation. Sometimes other skin diseases like albinism, skin cancer etc can cause an imbalance in skin pigmentation.

What is Skin Pigmentation?

• The color of the skin of people differs from place to place. This is due to melanin produced by cells present in the epidermis. Pigmentation of the skin depends on the production of melanin. If the production of melanin is high then the skin gets a dark color. If the production of melanin is low, then the skin takes upon a lighter shade. Skin diseases may sometimes damage these cells producing melanin. This in turn hampers the production of melanin. This can happen to only a patch of the skin on the body or can affect the whole body as well. 

• In short, one can have just patches on one part of the body where the skin might get lighter or darker or the skin might change color all over the body. There can be many reasons for the skin getting darker in color like pregnancy, Addison’s disease, over exposure to the sun etc. If the skin is becoming lighter in color then it can be because of vitiligo, albinism, burns etc.

• Other causes of skin pigmentation disorders might also include an adverse reaction to some medicine, after effects of hormonal therapy which can cause skin pigmentation problems. Even birth control pills cause skin pigmentation disorders as they basically tamper with hormones. Skin pigmentation problem is a lot more common than one can imagine. 

• Skin pigmentation problems or disorders can take up many forms like moles, age spots also known as liver spots, freckles etc. Freckles do not actually cause a lot of harm and are only existent because the skin is producing sporadic amounts of melanin. 

Types of Skin Pigmentation Disorders

• Hypo pigmentation is a type of skin pigmentation disorder. In this case the skin does not produce sufficient amount of melanin needed. This causes the skin to get many shades lighter. Usually this happens after a burn or a blister heals. Burns, blisters, infections generally leave a mark due to hypo pigmentation. 

• Albinism is a genetic disorder of the skin. People suffering with albinism may have patches of lighter skin all over the body or the skin all over the body changes color. This also includes the color of their eyes and hair. The skin is considerably lighter and even the hair and the eyes take on a lighter more pale shade. This condition cannot be treated and there is no cure for albinism. People having albinism have to be very careful about their skin and have to take care when it comes to skin exposure, etc as these things can cause more damage to the skin when suffering from albinism.

• Hyper pigmentation occurs when the skin starts producing more melanin than actually necessary. This causes the skin to become darker. There are many reasons behind occurrence of hyper pigmentation like excessive exposure to the sun, drug reactions, scars etc. 

• One can avoid many problems related to skin pigmentation by taking necessary preventive measures like using sunscreen, avoiding over exposure to the sun. One can also check the side effects on any of the medicines and confirm with the Doctor in order to avoid skin pigmentation problem as a reaction. Some of the problems can be taken off through the means of medication while others unfortunately cannot be cured.