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Melanin

Melanin is the pigment that produces the shades and colors of human skin, hair, and eyes and the disorders in the production of melanin affects the color of your skin. Without melanin pigment, the skin would be white, or pale pink which is caused by blood flow through the skin. So, the fair skinned people produce very little, darker-skinned people produce moderate, and very dark-skinned people produce the most amount of melanin.

 

The melanocytes are the specialized cells that produce melanin, these are scattered among the other cells in the top layer of the skin called the epidermis.

 

Life events such as pregnancy, Addison's disease, and sun exposure all can make your skin darker. People with a deficiency of melanin may be suffering from albinism, vitiligo, blisters or infections as well. Usually, the melanin is evenly distributed in the skin, but people suffering from freckles, age spots (lentigines), and melasma have spots or patches of skin with more melanin.

The types of pigmentation disorders are:

  • Depigmentation - It is a complete loss of pigment where the skin is white usually occurs in vitiligo.

  • Hypopigmentation - It is also an abnormally low amount of melanin. Here, the skin is lighter in color than normal. It usually occurs in albinism. It can be caused by

    • Previous injury to the skin, such as a blister, ulcer, burn, exposure to a chemical, or skin infection

    • Inflammatory conditions of the skin that have healed (such as atopic dermatitis or psoriasis)

    • Rare hereditary conditions

  • Hyperpigmentation - Unlike the other two, it is caused by an abnormally high amount of melanin making the skin darker than normal. Hyperpigmentation can be caused by

    • Disorders that cause inflammation

    • Drugs

    • Exposure to sunlight

 

You might be suffering from melanin disorders. For more details feel free to talk to a VCare skin expert.