Types of Pigmentations in Different Diseases

Melanocyte in human skin produces brown pigmentation which determines the skin color.
Skin pigmentations can sometimes be associated with certain diseases or conditions, but it’s important to note that not all types of pigmentations are indicative of a medical problem. Many variations in skin pigmentation, such as freckles, birthmarks, or even changes in skin color due to sun exposure, are considered normal and do not indicate any underlying health issue.


Types of Pigmentations of skin in Different Diseases:

However, in some cases, different types of skin pigmentations in different diseases or conditions are present. Here are a few examples:


This is a condition characterized by the loss of melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) in certain areas of the skin, resulting in white patches. While the exact cause of vitiligo is unknown, it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder.

Melasma:This is a common condition characterized by the appearance of brown or gray-brown patches on the skin, typically on the face. Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy or while taking hormonal medications, can trigger melasma.

Polycystic ovary syndrome:

Hyperpigmentation in PCOS commonly affects areas such as the neck, underarms, inner thighs, and groin. These areas are known as “acanthosis nigricans” and appear darker and thicker than the surrounding skin. Acanthosis nigricans is often associated with insulin resistance and is more commonly seen in individuals with obesity or diabetes.

Addison’s disease:

In some cases, darkening of the skin, especially in areas exposed to the sun, can be a symptom of Addison’s disease. This condition occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones, leading to a range of symptoms, including skin darkening.


Excessive iron accumulation in the body due to a condition like hemochromatosis can cause a bronze or grayish skin coloration. This is known as hyperpigmentation.

Hypercarotenemia:A condition characterized by elevated levels of carotenoids in the blood, specifically beta-carotene. Carotenoids are pigment compounds found in certain fruits and vegetables, responsible for their vibrant colors. When consumed in excessive amounts through diet or supplements, carotenoids can accumulate in the body, leading to the discoloration of the skin.

Certain cancers:

Skin changes, including pigmentation alterations, can sometimes be associated with certain types of skin cancer, such as melanoma.

Pregnancy-induced hyperpigmentation:It refers to the darkening of certain areas of the skin that can occur during pregnancy. This condition is caused by hormonal changes, particularly an increase in the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin coloration.

Common areas affected by pregnancy-induced hyperpigmentation include the face (known as melasma or the “mask of pregnancy”), abdomen, nipples, and genital area. While it is generally harmless and resolves on its own after pregnancy, it can cause discomfort and self-consciousness for some individuals. Sun exposure can worsen the condition, so sun protection measures, such as wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, are recommended. Consulting with a healthcare professional can provide guidance on managing pregnancy-induced hyperpigmentation and ensuring the well-being of both the mother and the developing baby.


Albinism a genetic condition characterized by the absence or lack of melanin, the pigment responsible for coloration in the hair, skin, and eyes. People with albinism typically have very light or white hair, pale skin, and light-colored eyes.


Sallow yellow-brownish tinge in CKD chronic kidney disease, a bluish tinge is produced by abnormal hemoglobin, such as methemoglobin or sulpheamoglobin, certain drugs causes striking discoloration of the skin such as mepacrine (yellow), amiodarone(bluish-grey), phenothiazine (stale-grey).

It’s important to remember that these examples are not an exhaustive list, and skin pigmentations can have various causes. If you notice any concerning changes in your skin, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional who can evaluate your specific situation and provide an accurate diagnosis.

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