What is Skin Pigmentation?
Skin pigmentation in humans is the direct result of natural selection. Skin pigmentation is the color of human skin that is made up of a variety of substances in which the main substance is melanin. Melanin is responsible for the overall skin color and ranges from light to dark. Individuals who are lacking melanin tend to be pale in appearance and extremely sensitive to the sun. Individuals who possess little to no melanin are referred to as albino.
Origins of Pigmentation
The origins of specific skin pigmentation have a direct correlation with geographical locations. Individuals who have genetic histories and ancestors that originated close to the equator tend to have darker skin tones than individuals whose ancestors originated further from the equator. This is due to the UV levels of the sun in each geographic location.
What Causes Skin Pigmentation Disorders?
The most common skin pigmentation disorder is vitiligo, a condition in which there is significant destruction in melanocytes, the cells that create melanin and skin color. The destruction of these cells leads to white patches on individuals with darker pigmentation. Vitiligo can also occur in light skinned individuals, but the patches are not as visible due to the lighter skin tone. The exact cause of vitiligo is unknown. Hyper pigmentation is another pigmentation disorder in which areas of the skin become darkened. Hyper pigmentation is caused by excessive sun exposure, aging and various medications.
Types of Skin Pigmentation
The types of skin pigmentation are fair, medium, and dark. Many individuals have a combination of skin pigmentations due to their genetic histories. Fair skinned individuals tend to burn easily and they are also more prone to skin damage and wrinkles, while darker skinned individuals tend to age slowly and are not as prone to burning. However, it is important to note that darker skinned individuals can still acquire sun damage as well as develop skin cancer, so wearing sunscreen is important for individuals of all skin types.
Skin Pigmentation Disorders and their Home Remedies
While there is no home remedy for vitiligo, hyper pigmentation can be treated with exfoliation treatments and moisture creams that are high in Vitamin C. Exfoliating the skin with an all-natural exfoliation scrub that contains apricot seed and pineapple enzyme can help to gently slough away the dark patches and encourage collagen production, allowing for a lighter appearance of the dark spots. All natural skin brightening moisturizers that contain Vitamin C release healthy antioxidants and moisturizers into the skin that promote healthy skin cell turnover and increased elasticity. Non-home remedies include chemical exfoliation and skin whitening treatments that are performed by a dermatologist or skin care medical professional.
Prevention and Cure
While there is no known cure for vitiligo or hyper pigmentation, the conditions can be treated with a variety of home remedies and dermatological procedures. It is important to note that vitiligo is a chronic condition of the skin that can worsen over time, and the only remedies for this condition at the current time are makeups and skin treatments that are designed to even out skin tone and blend color. Vitiligo is an inherited condition in certain individuals, and there are others who develop the condition with no prior family history. There is no way to prevent vitiligo, but sufferers can protect their sensitive skin by applying sunscreen and minimizing sun exposure. For individuals with hyper pigmentation, preventive measures include wearing sunscreen and exfoliating the skin on a weekly basis. It is also a good idea to verify the possible side effects of prescription medications, as certain medications can cause skin discoloration.
Skin pigmentation is determined by genetic factors and certain pigmentation conditions are not preventable. While there is no known cure for vitiligo or hyper pigmentation, people can still protect their skin with all-natural sunscreens and minimal sun exposure. Moisturizing creams containing Vitamin C also help to add a healthy glow to the skin and boost collagen production, which can even out skin tone and allow for a healthier and more balanced complexion.