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A Brief Overview of Skin Pigmentation

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The coloring of a person’s skin is called skin pigmentation. A person’s skin color is normal when they are healthy. However, in some disorders or diseases, a person’s skin can become lighter, causing hypopigmentation, or darker, causing hyperpigmentation. Let’s have a look into both of the conditions briefly:

Hyperpigmentation

The substance that is responsible for the color of our skin is called melanin. In certain conditions, like in pregnancy or Addison’s disease (a disease in which adrenal gland does not work properly), the body produces melanin in excess, resulting in darkening of the skin, causing hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation can also be caused by excess exposure to sunlight. People, who spend the most part of their day outside, tend to have darker skin because they are exposed to the sunlight throughout the day. Some antiarrhythmics, antibiotics, and anti-malarial drugs can often cause hyperpigmentation as well.

One common type of hyperpigmentation is Melasma, which occurs in women during pregnancy. Men can develop Melasma as well in certain cases. However, the skin color returns to normal after pregnancy. If it does not, there are treatments for hyperpigmentation available.

Hypopigmentation

Opposite to hyperpigmentation, when there is the reduction of melanin in the body, it lightens the skin color and causes hypopigmentation.

Vitiligo is one of the common disorders which results in hypopigmentation. In Vitiligo, smooth and white patches develop on skin all over the body. It is an autoimmune disorder in which the pigment-producing cells are damaged. Although there is no cure for Vitiligo, there are cosmetic treatments available through which the white patches can be covered up.

Another common disorder which can cause hypopigmentation is albinism. Albinism is a rare disorder which is caused by the absence of an enzyme that produces melanin. As a result, there is a complete lack of pigmentation in hair, skin, and eyes (eyes may appear in some cases because of the blood). Albinos have a specific abnormal gene which prevents the production of melanin.

However, the good thing is that there is the availability of good pigmentation treatment in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, other cities of India. It may seem like your skin is unevenly colored. If you have a pigmentation disorder and would like to treat it, consult your doctor about it.

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