Skin Pigmentation and Skin Disorders
To put it simply, skin pigmentation refers to the body’s skin coloration. A substance called melanin made by the body’s melanocytes (skin cells) determines a person’s skin pigmentation. The color of a person’s skin pigmentation depends mainly on his or her ethnic or racial origin as well as the extent of his or her exposure to the sun’s rays outside.
Usually associated with skin pigmentation are skin disorders such as port-wine stains, birthmarks, mask of pregnancy, melasma, chloasma, solar lentigo, sun spots, actinic keratosis, seborrheic keratosis, freckles, age spots, flat moles, liver spots, acne scarring, post-inflammatory pigmentation, wound scarring, and brown spots. These all, in one way or another, concern the skin’s coloring. The skin disorders mentioned often manifest as skin discolorations.
Usually due to irregular activity with regards to the body’s usual melanin production, skin pigmentation disorders occur. Damaged skin cells or unhealthy skin cells influence the body’s production of melanin which in turn causes abnormalities in skin pigmentation.
Pigmentation disorders may affect only small portions of a person’s skin or affect the whole body itself. Hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation are the two principal categories of skin discoloration problems. Hyperpigmentation deals with the abnormal increased making of melanin while hypopigmentation deals with the abnormal decreased making of melanin.
How does hyperpigmentation occur? It occurs when there is an excessive production of the skin’s melanin. A person with hyperpigmentation will end up having darker skin color than their normal pigmentation. The alternative term for hyperpigmentation is dyschromia. The top skin areas where it frequently appears include the face, arms, and hands.
Types of dyschromia include liver spots, melasma, freckles, age spots, and sun spots. Reasons of dyschromia can be too much sun exposure, pregnancy, Addison’s disease, hormonal changes, acne, failed skin treatments, and heredity. In the case of hypopigmentation, melanin that is reduced in amount makes the skin lighter than it actually should be. Hypopigmentation is often seen on a person’s skin because of reasons such as Tinea versicolor, Pityriasis alba, blisters, infections, albinism, burns, and vitiligo.
Regardless of what type of skin pigmentation problem one has, it commonly makes the person unsatisfied with the skin they have. That is the reason of a lot of individuals who search for the right medical treatments to solve their skin problems. Skin pigmentation disorders can be treated through several ways. Numerous people make use of creams. Such creams help reduce the effects of the skin discoloration. Skin lightening products that contain kojic acid, retinoids, Vitamin C, and hydroquinone are also widely used for this purpose.
Skin pigmentation is a big concern when it comes to one’s appearance. That is why it is no surprise that so much money and effort are utilized for research and development on treatments for skin pigmentation disorders.