Skin Pigmentation Disorders

Skin pigmentation disorders are a set of skin diseases that are related to the color of your skin. The skin of the person who is suffering from any of these skin diseases can become lighter, darker, discolored or blotchy. This however does not mean to say that the color of your skin should not be as per your race.

Being Caucasian does not mean that you have a skin disorder as you have white skin, just as being African does not mean that you have a skin disorder as you have dark skin.

The normal skin of the person known as the native skin is distinctly different in appearance from the region where the skin disease shows up. Most of the disorders are related to the presence of melanin in the body.

Skin Pigmentation Disorders

What is melanin?

Melanin is the substance which gives your skin cells their natural skin color. It is the presence of absence of melanin which makes your skin lighter or darker than the natural native skin color.

If the body somehow does not produce the right amount of melanin it can cause skin pigmentation disorders. If the body is producing too much melanin the native skin can get darker, and if the melanin produced is to little the native skin can get lighter.

If you have seen an albino, a person whose skin looks totally white, it is a skin condition caused by the absolute absence of melanin in the body. Albinism is a genetically inherited disease and you are not likely to suddenly lose all the skin color you have to become an albino.

Melanin also protects the body as it has the property of absorbing ultra violet rays. In case of albinism the person must protect his skin from the harsh rays of the sun as the body produces no melanin at all to protect itself.

Common skin pigmentation disorders

You may get afflicted with other skin pigmentation disorders which are not genetic in nature. Some of these are hyperpigmentation, where the body has too much melanin. Hypopigmentation is where the body has too little melanin. Lamellar ichthyosis is a inherited disease in which the skin get dark scaly patches that resemble fish scales. Then there is lichen simplex chronicus which is a disorder that has severe itching that tends to create dark and thick patches of skin.

There is also melasma which is a mask like discoloration which covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose. This is a condition which often occurs in pregnant women and is at times called the mask of pregnancy. Another skin disease which has white spotty patches showing up is called vitiligo. These diseases of the skin are all usually due to the melanocytes, which are the skins cells which produce melanin, not functioning properly.

Treatment of skin pigmentation disorders

The skin disorders are of different types and while some of them are genetic and not much can be done about them, others are conditions that occur over time and can be treated. The treatment differs as per the different skin pigmentation disorders. The main treatment is to catch the reason why the body is not producing adequate melanin and then treat the underlying cause as appropriate.