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Pigmentation means coloring. Skin pigmentation disorders affect the color of your skin. Your skin gets its color from a pigment called melanin. Special cells in the skin make melanin. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production. Some pigmentation disorders affect just patches of skin. Others affect your entire body.

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. A person with albinism may have no color, lighter than normal skin color, or patchy missing skin color. Infections, blisters and burns can also cause lighter skin.

Symptoms of Skin Pigmentation Disorders

The following features are indicative of Skin Pigmentation Disorders:
  • freckles
  • moles with or without pigment
  • lentigines
  • rapid, involuntary back-and-forth movement of the eyes
  • patchy loss of skin color
  • premature whitening or graying of the hair on the scalp
  • loss of color in the tissues that line the inside of your mouth and nose
  • Loss of or change in color of the inner layer of the eyeball

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Common Causes of Skin Pigmentation Disorders

The following are the most common causes of Skin Pigmentation Disorders:
  • gene mutations
  • immune system destroys the melanocytes in the skin
  • family history
  • sunburn
  • stress
  • exposure to industrial chemicals

Prevention of Skin Pigmentation Disorders

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Skin Pigmentation Disorders. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • talk to a genetic counselor if family member has albinism to understand chances of having the disease in future

Occurrence of Skin Pigmentation Disorders

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Skin Pigmentation Disorders cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Not common between 50K - 500K cases

Common Age Group

Skin Pigmentation Disorders can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Skin Pigmentation Disorders can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Skin Pigmentation Disorders

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Skin Pigmentation Disorders:
  • Physical exam: To see the changes in skin
  • Skin biopsy and blood draw: To look for underlying autoimmune conditions

Doctor for Diagnosis of Skin Pigmentation Disorders

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Skin Pigmentation Disorders:
  • Dermatologist

Complications of Skin Pigmentation Disorders if untreated

Yes, Skin Pigmentation Disorders causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Skin Pigmentation Disorders is left untreated:
  • social or psychological distress
  • sunburn
  • skin cancer
  • inflammation of the iris
  • hearing loss

Procedures for Treatment of Skin Pigmentation Disorders

The following procedures are used to treat Skin Pigmentation Disorders:
  • Skin grafting: Removes the small sections of your normal skin that have lost pigment
  • Blister grafting: To removes the tops of the blisters and transplants them to an area of discolored skin
  • Micropigmentation: To implant pigment into the skin

Self-care for Skin Pigmentation Disorders

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Skin Pigmentation Disorders:
  • Apply sunscreen: Protects against both UVA and UVB light
  • Avoid high-risk sun exposure: Decreases the chances of skin disorders
  • Wear protective clothing: Reduces the chances of skin pigmentation

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Skin Pigmentation Disorders

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Skin Pigmentation Disorders:
  • Use herb Ginkgo biloba: Helps in returning the skin color
  • Use alpha-lipoic acid, folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin B-12 plus phototherapy: To restore the skin color

Patient Support for Treatment of Skin Pigmentation Disorders

The following actions may help Skin Pigmentation Disorders patients:
  • Learn all about it: Learn about the condition that helps you in deciding what steps to take
  • Talk with others: Join support groups in your area to share your feelings with the people with vitiligo
  • Confide in loved one's: Family and friends should understand and support the diseased person

Time for Treatment of Skin Pigmentation Disorders

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Skin Pigmentation Disorders to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

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Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Skin Pigmentation Disorders.

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