Skin Pigmentation – What Does It Look Like?

Skin pigmentation refers to human skin coloring. Melanin the pigment in skin which determines the coloring of human skin is the natural defense of humans against the sunlight, hence, variations of skin pigmentation or coloring is believed to be due to amount of sunlight received as well as genetic. However, the term “skin pigmentation” nowadays is commonly used to describe or refer to skin conditions or abnormalities. There are various types of skin pigment abnormalities. These skin conditions may affect certain area of the body or may involve the entire human body.

If you find some discoloration on your skin or skin of a color that is not normally visible in your body, there is no harm in paying a visit to a physician or dermatologist to receive a professional opinion.

One of the most common forms of skin pigmentation is the birthmark, a skin discoloration that appears at birth or some time immediately following birth. Most birthmarks are non-cancerous; however, some birthmarks can pose risks to health. Some types of birthmarks are pigmented birthmarks, macular stains, and hemangioma. Identification of these skin birthmarks can be done by analyzing their appearance and characteristics.

If you have pigmented birthmarks, the skin will appear smooth and flat. These marks are branded by numerous names depending on their appearance. One example is Nevus of Ota which is distinguished by bluish discoloration of the facial skin and in some cases the white part of the eye. On the other hand, Mongolian spots, another variant of birthmark as skin pigment disorder, are characterized by bruised or bluish in color, usually appearing on buttocks. Another form of skin pigmentation classified as a birthmark is café-au-lait spots. This skin discoloration is light brown in color. Typical moles, which are also called nevi, are also identified as skin pigmentation and classified under birthmarks. Moles may be flesh-colored to light to dark brown. Generally speaking, moles are simply marks on the skin; however, moles should be observed for bleeding, change in color, shape or size, or itching.

Macular stains are skin pigmentation which may be visible anywhere on the body. These are just flat, not elevated, and usually red in marks. On the other hand, hemangiomas are skin pigmentations composed of many tiny blood vessels huddled together and vary in severity. Characteristically, this birthmark is a mere tiny mark on the skin of the face, trunk, or extremities. But in some cases, this skin pigmentation can grow rapidly through the first year of life of a child. Worse cases show that this skin pigment abnormality affects hearing and sight, and even cause ulceration, pain, and bleeding.

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