Pigmentation relates to the coloring of the skin, which is primarily determined by the amount of melanin produced by melanocytes. While a certain level of pigmentation is normal, providing various skin tones and features like freckles, issues arise when there is an overproduction or uneven distribution of melanin. This can result in hyperpigmentation, characterized by dark spots or patches on the skin, or hypopigmentation, where patches of skin become lighter.
The causes of pigmentation issues are multifaceted. Overexposure to sunlight is a leading cause, as UV rays stimulate melanin production, potentially leading to sunspots and melasma. Other factors include:
• Hormonal changes, as seen with melasma during pregnancy.
• Certain medications which can increase sensitivity to sunlight.
• Skin inflammation or injury, which can lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
• Genetic predisposition to conditions like freckles or age spots.