Understanding Some Common Causes of Pigmentation Disorders

Skin pigment disorders are known to affect the skin color. Your skin actually, gets its unique color from melanin which is supposed to be a pigment. There are certain special cells present in the skin that is supposed to produce melanin.

When these cells get damaged or become unhealthy, the melanin production is hampered. Some pigmentation disorders impact certain patches of your skin while there are some other pigmentation disorders that would be affecting your whole body.

As per medlineplus.gov, “If your body makes too much melanin, your skin gets darker. Pregnancy, Addison’s disease, and sun exposure all can make your skin darker. If your body makes too little melanin, your skin gets lighter. Vitiligo is a condition that causes patches of light skin.

Albinism is a genetic condition affecting a person’s skin.” In this context, we know of another rare condition known as Griscelli syndrome that is characterized by silver-colored hair and light skin. This rare condition has been reported in just around 60 cases worldwide so far. Let us explore some of the common causes of pigmentation disorders.

They Could Be Genetic

Some people are born with a skin condition like freckles. They are generally fair-skinned and probably have red hair. The melanin in the skin is unevenly distributed and so it forms clusters which are clumped together closely instead of being spread out uniformly resulting in freckles on your skin.

This type of skin is super-sensitive to the ultraviolet rays of the sun and is really prone to both skin cancer and sunburn. As such you need to safeguard this sort of a skin type from the harsh sunlight.

Some individuals are born with a somewhat mole-prone skin. In such a condition pigment occurs in dark clumps. With age, these black spots generally, become raised and sometimes, you would find a hair sticking out from a mole.

Most of these moles are benign; however, keep monitoring them from time to time. You must seek medical intervention if you observe any change in color, shape, outline or size. It is best to get an annual checkup done by a qualified dermatologist.

They Could Be Because of the Sun

You may develop freckles on your skin after sun exposure. However, these freckles would be fading off during the winter time. This is supposed to be your body’s endeavor to safeguard your healthy skin cells from the harmful effects of the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Freckles could become permanent and darker if you do not take corrective and preventive measures.

They Could Be Triggered by Your Hormones

Melasma is the umbrella term given to conditions associated with hormone-induced excess pigmentation. This could be triggered by hormonal fluctuations. As such; you could be affected by melisma while consuming birth control hormones such as the ‘Pill’. More often than not, melisma could occur during your pregnancy and is then referred to as pregnancy mask, chloasma, or butterfly mask. It is also, quite common in post-menopausal women.

They Could Be Caused By Inflammation

PIH or Post-Inflammatory Pigmentation could occur when your skin is inflamed chronically. This is pretty common in patients combating eczema/dermatitis, Addison’s disease, and even acne.


All these kinds of skin pigmentation issues require early intervention for proper treatment. Do not neglect such issues and seek assistance from an experienced dermatologist at the earliest.

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