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  Oct 12, 2018

Skin Pigmentation Disorders: An Overview

The color of the human skin is due to a brown pigment called melanin. Pigmentation or coloration of the skin is dependent on the amount of melanin present in the skin. People with pale skin produce very little melanin and people with darker skin produce higher amounts of melanin. Pregnancy and sun exposure can also make skin darker, while infections, burns, and blisters can make skin lighter.

Skin pigmentation disorders affect the color of the skin. In some cases, the cells that produce melanin - melanocytes - become damaged, thus affecting melanin production. Some disorders affect the entire body while others affect only patches of skin.

Pigmentation Disorders

Skin pigmentation disorders can be localized or widespread and the changes they cause to the skin are broadly classified as depigmentation, hypopigmentation, and hyperpigmentation.

  • Depigmentation is due to the loss of pigment, which makes the skin lose its natural color. Pigment loss can be partial or complete and temporary or permanent.
  • Hypopigmentation is caused by a very low amount of melanin being produced by