Skin Discoloration – Hyperpigmentation and Hypopigmentation

Your skin color can change throughout life for different reasons. Health conditions cause skin discoloration, generally hyperpigmentation, the darkening of the skin, hypopigmentation, the whitening or lightening of the skin.

To understand hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation, it’s necessary to understand how your skin develops its color. Melanocytes are found throughout the skin, specialized skin cells that manufacture the protective skin-darkening pigment melanin, a protein that imparts skin, hair, and eyes their color.

Skin discoloration can affect broad or small areas of skin and is a normal part of aging. It may also be a symptom of a more serious underlying problem that requires medical treatment.

Hyperpigmentation is generally caused by an excess of the skin pigment melanin. This disease is relatively prevalent in both sexes and all ethnic groups but is more prevalent in ethnic groups with light complexions.

Although hyperpigmentation is often a benign condition, it can also signify an illness or disease in certain circumstances. Many patients are concerned about hyperpigmentation due to its aesthetic implications, giving them stress and worry.

Individuals with hypopigmentation either have fewer melanocytes or less melanin. It might be widespread or localized. Multiple patches or areas of white skin may occur with localized hypopigmentation. Patches can vary significantly in size and shape.

Both hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation can occur in people of all races.