Skin Pigmentation Disorder

Big image

Current Status

There is no real cure.

Signs and Symptoms

Som signs and symptoms would be different colored patches of skin on any part of your body. They could be light or darker spots. It could happen from birth to any age.

Body systems that are affected

Pigmentation means coloring. Skin pigmentation disorders affect the color of your skin. Skin cells give your skin color by making a substance called melanin. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production. Some pigmentation disorders affect just patches of skin. Others affect your entire body.

How does a person receive the disorder?

Skin pigmentation disorder is caused by a mutation in a gene on chromosome 12.


For albinos, healthcare providers advise people to cover up, use sunscreen and avoid excess sunlight to prevent skin cancer.

To treat vitilgo, physicians may prescribe a combination of photo-sensitive medications like ultraviolet light therapy to darken the spots. If the person has depigmented patches covering more than 50% of the body, doctors also may be able to use skin bleaching.

Skin-lightening creams are available for hyper-pigmentation disorders. If a mole or birthmark appears suspicious, physicians often will surgically remove it to prevent skin cancer.

How is it diagnosed?

Diagnostic tests vary for different types of skin pigmentation disorder. Physicians usually can diagnose albinos by looking carefully at a person's hair, skin, and eyes. They may order blood tests and eye exams as well. For most hyperpigmentation disorders, doctors can make a diagnosis by looking at a person's appearance.