By Leisha Fillery, Feb 15 2018 10:24AM
Pigmentation is the natural colour of a person’s skin. It is related to melanin production. Melanin protects skin cells and their DNA by absorbing the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UVR).
Characterised by the increased production and accumulation of melanin, which causes a darkened appearance to the skin in small or large areas. Incidence is higher in people with darker skin types because their skin naturally contains more melanin.
Skin colour originates in the basal layer of the epidermis where melanocytes are located
• Upon UV exposure these cells product pigment called melanin (melanogenisis)
• Melanogenesis is controlled by the enzyme tyrosinase
• Tyrosinase is located in the vesicles called melanosomes inside melanocytes
• Characterised by irregular pigmentation (eg. freckles, age spots, uneven skin tone)
• Caused by long term exposure to ultraviolet rays (sun or tanning beds)
• Characterised by symmetric brown patches that appear on sun-exposed areas of skin, most often the forehead, cheeks, bridge of nose, upper lip, chin
• UV exposure, hormones, genetics and medications are involved
Post-Inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)
• Characterised by brown patches found in areas of the skin that have been subjected to trauma, inflammation or a combination of both
• Common causes of inflammation include acne, eczema and psoriasis
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