Pigmentation means coloring. Skin pigmentation refers to a skin conditions that affect the pigment of your skin leading to formation of patches of different colors on your skin. Human skin color ranges in variety from pinkish-white to tan to dark brown. Your skin gets its color from many substances but the most important among them all is a pigment called melanin, which is produced within the skin. Your skin has millions of special cells called melanocytes. In people with darker complexion, melanin is the main determinant of the skin color; whereas people with lighter skin tone get their skin color from the bluish-white connective tissues underneath the dermis and the red blood cells circulating in the veins of dermis.
That said, there are several factors that can trigger production of skin pigment (melanin), leading to uneven skin pigmentation (تصبغات الوجه). Some factors cause hyper or hypo-pigmentation in just patches of skin while others may affect the entire body of an individual.
One most common factor leading to skin discoloration is excessive unaided exposure to sunlight. The ultraviolet rays of sun damage the pigment producing cells, melanocytes, resulting in overproduction of melanin in certain areas of skin. Some internal changes, such as pregnancy and lactation, can also trigger melanin production in your skin, and as a result your turns darker.
Based on its cause, color, and shape skin pigmentation is divided into different categories, including freckles and blemishes, age spots, melasma.
Freckles and blemishes – clusters of concentrated melanin mostly formed on nose and cheeks. Freckles can affect anyone, regardless of his/her genes, gender or age, but are mostly seen on people with lighter skin. Excessive exposure to sunlight can trigger formation of freckles.
Melasma – is a tan or dark skin discoloration caused by pregnancy. It can affect anyone regardless of gender and ethnicity, but since pregnancy is the most common cause of this kind of skin imperfection, it is believed to be particularly common in women. Women taking oral or patch contraceptives are also at higher risk of developing melasma.
Age spots – also called liver spots, are dark, irregular yet flat hyper-pigmented patches of melanin that are very common in adults 50 and above. These spots can be of any size, shape and color, but always darker than your natural skin tone. Some are tan, others are brown, while in worst case scenario they may be black as well. Age spots appear on the areas that are frequently exposed to sunlight, such as your face, shoulders, arms and hands.
Skin pigmentation is mostly harmless and people get it treated only for cosmetic reasons. Whatever type of skin pigmentation a person may be suffering from, one thing is common among all and that is they don’t look good on your skin. But the good news is there are several treatment options available to effectively fade away these unsightly skin spots. Visit your nearest skincare facility to get rid of uneven skin discoloration and regain smooth and clear skin free of freckles, blemishes and age spots.