Skin Pigmentation Treatment London & UK

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“Pigmentation” is the word used to describe the colouring of the skin.  The colouring of the skin is caused by a chemical called melanin.  The depth of colour depends on the amount of melanin and can range from very light to very dark.  The colour of the skin depends on a number of factors such as your genes, your sex and your environment. All of these can alter the amount, type and pattern of melanin in your skin, hair and eyes. Men typically have darker skin than women regardless of anything else.

All living beings have different skin colours and patterns caused by varying levels of melanin. This is important for camouflage, heat regulation and cosmetic differences. Melanin in human skin is also important to protect us from harm such as sunlight.  However, sometimes certain conditions and other factors can change skin colour.  This article will discuss a number of skin conditions, treatments and ways in which you can protect yourself from harm.

What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a condition where skin becomes white or lighter spots can appear.  You might hear the skin referred to as “hypopigmented”.  This happens when the skin lacks melanin.  It is thought that around 1 in 50 people suffer from this skin disorder.  Most people who suffer vitiligo are dark skinned and it is most common between the ages of 20 and 30 years.

The main cause of vitiligo is severe sunburn.  However, there are also other factors that can cause or aggravate it such as genetics and effects of the immune system.

What is melasma?

Melasma is a condition where the skin becomes darker or dark spots occur.  It is also sometimes called chloasma.  The skin may be described as being “hyperpigmented” which means that the skin is darker than your normal skin colour. This condition is most often found in women. 

The main cause of melasma is too much exposure to the sun.  It most commonly occurs on the face, neck and arms.  It can happen in pregnancy due to increases in hormone levels and affects around 50% of women.

What is solar lentigo?

Solar lentigo is commonly known as age spots or liver spots. This is caused by damage from the sun. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the sun exposure can often cause spots that look like large freckles. The areas most commonly affected are the hands, arms, neck and face because these are the areas that receive most exposure to the sun. 

Solar lentigo is most common in people over 60years because the skin takes longer to repair itself.  It is also more common in people with light skin and those who burn easily.

This condition is not dangerous and often does not need to be treated.  However, solar lentigo can be unsightly and some people may choose to have treatment.  

What is albinism?

Albinism is a condition where there is a complete lack of skin colour. The skin of people with albinism does not contain any melanin at all. This causes both skin and hair to be very light. The term “albinoid” is used to describe a person with a reduced amount of melanin in the skin, but not a complete loss.

People with albinism sometimes have problems with their eye sight.  This includes sensitivity to light called photophobia, and other conditions called nystagmus and astigmatism. The skin of people with albinism is also more sensitive to light so that it is more likely to suffer sun burn.  Skin cancers are more common.

Albinism is a genetic condition. It is caused by reduced production of melanin in the body. At the moment there is no known cure.

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