The color of an individual’s skin depends on the proportion of melanin, haemoglobin and catenoids. Although melanin is the contributor of color determination, it is not the only determinant in color determination. The amount of melanin in our body plays a vital role in pigmentation disorders. The increased amount of melanin indicates darker skin tone which is known are Hypermelanosis and reduced amount of melanin indicates lighter skin tone which is known as Hypomelanosis.
Know the types of Pigmentary disorders:
Any inflammatory disorder of the skin especially in dark skinned individuals causes post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It is a common late sequelae followed by dark brown patches on the skin. Hyperpigmentation usually follows the pattern of the initial disease making it an easy diagnosis.
Vitiligo: It is an acquired disorder of the melanocytes which is characterised by complete loss of pigmentation of the skin and results in hypopigmented macules and patches. The disease usually begins in childhood or early adulthood and carries on to lifetime. It is an incurable disease yet can be restricted from spreading. These patches are normally delineated and are surrounded by normal or dark skin. It often follows an episode of trauma. It is mostly seen in extensor areas like hands, legs elbow, knees etc. It begins from the orifices like nasal nares, tips of fingers, angle of the mouth, anus urethra etc.
Ash Leaf spots: They are oval hypopigmented spots that are early signs of tuberous sclerosis. It most often found on the trunk of the body but also found on the chest and limbs.
Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis: it is a hypomelanotic state of the skin where the disorder is characterised by small well-defined round white macules on the sun exposed area of the skin. The patches are asymptomatic and medical intervention is not necessary. As the name suggests the cause of the disorder is unknown.
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