The skin is the largest organ of the body, and is responsible for protecting us from external contaminants. It keeps out germs and other disease-causing organisms. It is also responsible for blocking out environmental factors such as the sun’s harmful rays. The skin does the latter through melanin, the pigment that give the skin its color. Skin pigmentation is a part of the body’s protective properties. Therefore, problems with the pigments can cause adverse health effects.
Melanin comes from melanocytes — cells that are located at the skin’s base. Darker people have more melanocytes than those with lighter skin tones. This makes them more resistant to sunlight. However, if the skin has abnormally unequal skin tone, then it might be the start of skin problems.
Hyperpigmentation: This can either be generalized or localized, depending on the extent. Generalized hyperpigmentation can arise in places where the skin is folded, Examples are scars, arm pits, etc. It can also appear in the genitals or in areas exposed to the sun. In localized hyperpigmentation, the skin appears to have lesions such as moles.
There are times when localized hyperpigmentation can be the symptom of more dangerous problems. This is the case in melanoma, a type of skin cancer. It can also appear in the aftermath of an injury, such as eczema.
Hypopigmentation: This is the opposite of hyperpigmentation, and happens when there is a lack of color in the skin. This is a symptom of conditions like albinism. Like hyperpigmentation, this disorder can also be generalized or localized.
Generalized hypopigmentation can be caused by disorders such as the lack of specific hormones. However, not all paleness is hypopigmentation. It may actually be caused by unrelated conditions such as anemia or blood loss.
On the other hand, hypopigmentation is caused by diseases such as leukoderma or achromia.
Aside from these, there are other causes of skin pigment problems — aging and genetics are among them. These two are among the hardest to cure, since the reason for the skin’s demise is written in the genetic code. However, science is making continuous advancements to treating even these.
There are several kinds of treatment available, but they all depend on the type of disorder the person is suffering from. While it is important to bring the skin back to its normal color, it is also important to treat any underlying issues aside from the skin pigmentation concern.
Here are some of the more common treatment processes:
-Chemical Treatments (ascorbic acid, hydroquinone, etc.)
These processes may vary in their efficiency. It is important to make sure your doctor is qualified to perform all needed procedures to ensure effectiveness. There are some countries that have become a haven for cures for skin-related concerns. One such country is Singapore, which has a good number of experts with technology to match. From acne scars to drooping skin, there are Singapore-based doctors who can help. It is just important to research carefully and always ask about your doctor’s credentials so you know you are in good hands.