Spotty and blotchy skin is a nightmare for all. Skin pigmentation is a very common skin problem in men & women. Let us first understand what is skin pigmentation and what causes it. Our skin has cells called melanocytes which produce a pigment called melanin. Melanin gives the skin its colour. The number of melanocytes present in our skin determines our skin colour. Melanin also protects our skin from the harmful effects of sun radiation.
The sun emits two types of rays i.e. UVA and UVB. When the skin is exposed to the UVB radiation, the upper layer of the skin, called epidermis, gets burnt leading to sunburns. Whereas UVA radiation can penetrate deeper into the skin (dermis) and trigger melanocytes to produce excess melanin leading to pigmentation. Dermis contains blood vessels and nerves and UVA by damaging dermis also leads to premature ageing.
The melanocytes produce more melanin as and when our skin is exposed to more sun. The quanitity of melanin produced varies from one individual to other. This excess melanin is then deposited under the skin, which leads to skin tan, darker patches or pigmentation. Hormonal imbalance usually triggered during pregnancy or by taking birth control pills can be another cause of pigmentation. This condition is termed as melasma. Other reasons of pigmentation include acne and skin concerns like dermatitis, eczema etc.