Types of Skin Pigmentation

The color of the skin of humans is mainly caused by a pigment known as melanin. The color of the skin, ranging from white to almost black, is based on the level of melanin pigment. Evolution is not officially linked to skin pigmentation but it is generally accepted that genetics and sunlight exposure are factors that affect the color.

Increased amount of produced melanin means darker color of the skin. Conversely, the color of the skin become lighter whenever there is a decrease in the production of melanin pigment. Low and high levels of melanin may bring about the manifestation of brown patches on the skin. The worst case scenario is when the whole body becomes affected by the condition. Hyper-pigmentation and hypo-pigmentation are the two types of pigmentation of the skin.

Hyperpigmentation is basically the increased production of melanin in the skin. Hormonal changes may attribute to the manifestation of this skin condition especially for people who have Addison’s disease and women who are pregnant. Brown patches on the face of pregnant women normally appear which is known as the mask of pregnancy. They may suffer from having chloasma or melasma for a year after giving birth.

Sunburn can be considered as the most common cause of hyper-pigmentation. It is a great thing that sunburn can be treated easily these days. Since sunburn takes place whenever you are too much exposed to the sun, having sunscreen on the skin is the best thing to do. There are cosmetics that can be used to treat sunburn.

Hypopigmentation, on the other hand, is the condition of the skin in which the skin lightens up because of lower production of melanin. Children and adults can have the skin condition called vitiligo. Marks on the faces of toddlers may appear during winter because of this condition. The face alone or various body parts may be affected by white patches in adults. Vitiligo cannot be remedied but there are ways to hide it through cosmetic products.

Albinism is another type of hypo-pigmentation. This is the condition typified by the absence of cells that generate melanin. The colors of the skin, hair, and irises of the eyes are associated to the absence of melanin.

Even though pigmentation of the skin is not harmful to one’s health, many people search for pigmentation treatments.

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