A Comprehensive Guide To Pigmentation
Everyone possesses their own characteristic features like Skin colour, weight, height, genetics etc. which makes them one of their kind. Perhaps skin is one of the most noticeable parts in someone because it is the largest organ of the human body. The pigmentation of our skin i.e; colour of our skin resides in the topmost layer of skin called epidermis. A pigment called melanin decides what colour our skin is going to be. Today we are going to talk about the factors which decide skin colour and how these factors are affected in detail.
HOW SKIN COLOUR OF ONE PERSON VARIES FROM OTHER
Human skin has a really huge variety ranging from black to tones of dark brown to almost white. This colour is determined by the levels of melanin in the body which is secreted by cells called melanocytes present in the basal layer of skin epidermis. People with high levels of melanin have darker skin tone as compared to lighter toned people who have low levels of melanin in their skin.
We often get pissed off by the fact of going out in the sun and getting visible layers of tan but hey, no need to worry, These tan lines which seem horrifying to you are protecting you from the harmful rays of the sun. These UV rays from the sun react with the epidermis of your skin and send a message to melanocytes for multiplying the melanin production. This multiplied production of melanin appearing as a layer of tan is safeguarding you and nothing else.
FACTORS AFFECTING SKIN COLOUR
Principally, the amount of skin colour or amount of melanin is determined by the genetics that means parents with dark skin colour produce offsprings of dark skin colour i.e more melanin & parents with light skin tone produce offsprings with a low melanin level.
By now, we must have understood the basic concept that lies behind different colouration of people across the globe
WHAT IS PIGMENTATION
Pigmentation is defined as the coloration of skin, eye and hair due to varying levels of melanin hormone secreted. This coloration is primarily a cause of genes of a person but other factors like exposure to UV rays, skin disorders or some injuries can also alter it.
TYPES OF PIGMENTATION
This is a pigmentation disorder that occurs as a result of abnormally high secretion of melanin hormone. It leads to darkening of skin in the form of patches or maybe a larger area and sometimes may affect the whole body.
Hyperpigmentation can be caused due to many reasons such as-
- Pregnancy - Certain hormones released during the pregnancy period can lead to a type of hyperpigmentation disorder called Melasma which is also called as “Mask of Pregnancy”. It gets worse due to exposure to sun for long hours and it gradually fades away after pregnancy.
- UV Rays- Staying in sun exposed areas for prolonged hours can lead to liver spots on face, shoulders and arms which are dark in colour and are formed because of fastening of melanin production.
- ACNE- Post inflammatory results of acne especially the cystic type can lead to severe inflammation and results into hyperpigmentation of the affected area.
- CONTRACEPTIVE PILLS- High doses of contraceptive pills may lead to adverse hyperpigmentation due to composition of oestrogen & progesterone hormones in them as these hormones speed up the melanin formation.
This type of pigmentation disorder happens due to abnormally low levels of melanin secretion. Certain areas of skin develop white patches that can be either localised or widely distributed.
It is generally caused by following factors-
- Albinism- The gene which is responsible for the production of melanin is defected in this rare disease. People suffering from it develop white patches and major discoloration issues.There is no cure for albinism because it is a genetic disease.
- Skin damage- Damage to skin by injury, ulcer, burn, infection or some other trauma can lead to pigment loss and with the passing time the skin re-pigments itself.
This is a condition with a visible loss of pigment from your skin. Absolutely no melanin is formed by melanocytes in this condition and a disease called Vitiligo is its common cause. The physical symptoms of this skin condition can be white or colourless patches on skin. Or sometimes, even the total loss of colour from the skin and even hair.
HOW DO WE CONTROL PIGMENTATION
- Using a good quality sunscreen with a wide spectrum when going out in the sun is advisable for reducing the risk of hyperpigmentation. It is best to avoid sun between 12 pm to 2 pm because it is the peak time when maximum UV rays are emitted by sun along with covering up your face with cloth or using an umbrella or hat.
- Avoiding sun, sitting for long hours in front of LED television, using non-comedogenic products like green tea face serum, avoiding waxing etc can reduce melasma during pregnancy period.
- Limiting the intake of contraceptive pills and opting for other birth control measures can reduce the risk of developing hyperpigmentation.
- Since there is no cure to albinism like disorders but hypopigmentation caused by skin damages like injury, ulcer, burn, infection or some other trauma can be treated by patience teamed up with nutritious & healthy food with right skin care products.
CONCLUSION: From the above discussion we found that there is nearly no cure to some types of pigmentation disorders but hyperpigmentation can be reduced and treated by using the right skincare products & doing some preventive measures.
Overproduction, Underproduction and absolutely no production of melanin can cause very serious harms to our skin but the role of melanin in our skin protection is very vital.
Opting for skincare products which have Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Hyaluronic acid and natural ingredients like green tea, argan oil, lemon & orange extracts and aloe vera can help you provide natural sun protection and feeds the skin with the right amount of nutrition can work brilliantly for treating various types of hyperpigmentation issues.