What is skin pigmentation?
Melanocytes are pigment-producing cells. The number of melanocytes in our skin determines our skin colour. Production of melanin is dependent on UV or sun exposure, and is a natural protective mechanism of the skin.
Excessive skin pigmentation is a result of abnormal production and deposit of melanin by the melanocytes.
Causes of excess pigmentation?
Reasons for skin pigmentation problems are;
- UV radiation – Sun exposure
- Hormonal – ie melasma or chloasma which is a type of pigmentation usually caused by pregnancy or the pill
- Trauma to the skin – this can be a result of physical trauma to the skin, acne, chemical peels or laser treatments. This is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.