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The color and tone of skin is a major concern for most of the people. The type of skin constitute as an important element of beauty. Evenly colored skin type is considered to be one of the best skin types.Pigmentation is a very commonly encountered problem in Indian and south east Asian skin types. The incidence of hyperpigmentation is increasing due to the changing environmental conditions and increasing stress in day to day life. Special cells in the skin make melanin and it gives color to the skin. When these cells get damaged or unhealthy, the melanin production gets affected. There can be two types of pigmentation-hyper pigmentation and hypo pigmentation.

Hyper pigmentation is the condition by which one's skin gets darker and hypo pigmentation makes one's skin lighter. These conditionsmore often than not may not cause any serious health consequences but have profound psychological impact on the patient. We will be focusing on hyperpigmentation under this heading.

Signs & symptoms

As a result of variation in the melanin, the skin becomes discolored or pigmented. The skin may become darker. Signs and symptoms may vary according to the cause of pigmentation. The level of melanin changes according to the certain diseases or conditions of a person. The common symptoms found in people with pigmentation are:

  • Change in skin color
  • Itching
  • Change in skin texture


The main causes of pigmentation can be classified into:

  • Natural causes
  • Genetic causes and
  • Drug-induced pigmentation

Natural causes include the common causes such as sun tanning, poor diet, undernourishment etc. Melasma is one of the common causes of hyperpigmentation. It is related to female hormone changes and occurs during pregnancy or while taking birth control pills. Excessive use of cosmetics can also cause pigmentation.

Pigmentation can occur due to drug reactions. It can also occur due due to skin conditions like lichen planuspigmentosus, toxic melanoderma , amyloidosis and many more.

Prevention and treatments

Natural causes such as sun tanning can be prevented by using sunblock regularly. There are natural and other kinds of treatments for pigmentation. Using olive oil rich in vitamin E and aloe vera can help you to reduce dark patches and pigmentation.

Treatments Options:

  • Chemical Peels
  • Intense Pulsed Light
  • Mesotherapy
  • Laser Resurfacing
  • Medical treatments like using hydroquinone, kojic acid and alpha hydroxyl acid creams
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