Why is your skin of a certain hue, and why are certain areas of your body discoloured? Melanin is a pigment in your skin, hair, and eyes that determines your skin colour and complexion. So, whether you want to tan, lighten your freckles, or remove dark patches on areas of your skin, you must first comprehend what melanin is. Melanin is present in human and animal skin and is responsible for your unique eye, hair, and skin colours. Melanin has a variety of biological functions, including skin pigmentation, UV protection for the eyes and skin, and hair colouring. Melanocytes produce melanin in the basal layer, the epidermis’s deepest layer. Keratinocytes then carry melanin to the skin’s surface. Several conditions or factors can influence melanin production in your body.
Causes of hyperpigmentation
Excess melanin synthesis triggers hyperpigmentation. The condition can be caused by some drugs, for instance, some chemotherapy drugs can trigger hyperpigmentation as a side effect. Pregnancy affects hormonal levels and can alter melanin production in some women. Addison’s disease, a rare endocrine condition, can cause hyperpigmentation, which is most visible in areas of sun exposure, such as the neck, hands and face, and areas of friction, such as the elbows and knees. Hyperpigmentation is due to an imbalance in the hormone levels, which induces melanin synthesis. Excessive sun exposure can also raise melanin levels.
Causes of albinism
Melanin deficiency causes albinism, which is an uncommon genetic condition. Albinos are people who have albinism. Albinos have white hair and skin, and blue eyes, which are signs of melanin deficiency. Melanin deficiency causes people with the condition to have eyesight problems. This disorder has no known cure. People with this condition wear sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect their skin and eyes from sun damage. A genetic counsellor can help you understand the type of albinism you have and your chances of having an albino child in the future if you have albinism in your family. Several genes encode proteins that are involved in the synthesis of melanin. Albinism is caused by a mutation in one of these genes. Various melanin symptoms may appear depending on which gene change triggered the illness. The gene mutation could result in no melanin or a sign of melanin deficit.
Causes of melasma
Melasma, also known as ‘chloasma’, is a chronic skin pigmentation illness that can develop dark patches on the skin, notably over the face and upper lip. Melanin increase causes, whether internal or external, result in dark areas on your skin. According to research, facial melasma can be caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency. The main factors like iron-deficient anaemia, a hormonal imbalance, and the sun’s radiation can also cause melasma. The condition is characterised by dark areas of skin that intensify with sun exposure.
Causes of vitiligo
The condition is a chronic skin condition that is characterised by white patches across the skin triggered by a deficiency of melanin. Vitiligo usually appears on the neck, hands and face, but can affect any part of the skin. Individuals with the condition have pale skin that is prone to sunburn. The patches can also appear on the head and cause your hair to turn white or grey around the patches. Vitiligo frequently begins as a light area of skin that eventually becomes fully white. If blood vessels are present beneath the epidermis, the patch can be pinkish. They can be red and inflammatory, or they can have brownish discolouration. The lack of melanin causes people with vitiligo to have white spots across the skin that are typically permanent.
Vitiligo Varieties: Vitiligo can afflict your entire body in some cases, though rare, which is called total vitiligo. The basic kinds of vitiligo are the following: 1) Non-segmental or general vitiligo: General vitiligo is characterised by symmetrical patches on both sides of the body, and 2) Segmental vitiligo: The white patches appear in a limited area on the body. The condition is frequently observed in children.
Other causes of vitiligo
Vitiligo is triggered by a deficiency of melanin. The most prevalent type of vitiligo, non-segmental vitiligo, is due to an autoimmune disorder. In this condition, the immune system malfunctions and kills your body’s cells and tissues. In general vitiligo, the immune system kills the melanocyte cells that produce melanin. The condition is also linked to other autoimmune illnesses like hyperthyroidism, though these conditions do not affect everyone who has vitiligo.