What Causes the Loss of Skin Pigmentation?


Quick Answer

Skin damage, vitiligo and albinism are some of the causes of loss of skin pigmentation, notes Johns Hopkins Medicine. Each condition is related to the body's lack of production of melanin, which is a pigment that gives color to skin, hair and eyes.

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People sometimes suffer from a loss of skin pigmentation in areas in which they suffered ulcers, blisters, burns or infections, states Johns Hopkins Medicine. People do not need to treat these areas and can use cosmetics to cover the blemished spots.

Vitiglio produces pigment loss, usually occurring first on sun-exposed areas, such as the hands, feet and face, which may also lead to premature graying of the hair, states Mayo Clinic. The condition occurs when the cells that form melanin die off or stop producing. As of 2015, doctors don't know the cause of vitiglio, though it may be related to disorders in which the immune system attacks the melanocytes that produce melanin, heredity and triggering events, such as stress, sunburn or exposure to chemicals.

Albinism is a group of inherited disorders in which the body produces little or no melanin, resulting in lack of pigmentation of the skin, according to Mayo Clinic. There is no cure for albinism, and people with the disorder have an increased risk of developing skin cancer due to the lack of protection from the sun that skin pigmentation usually affords.

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