Section : Pigmentation, Hyperpigmentation and Solutions

Pigmentation by Melanin and Skin Color (Colour)

  • In humans, melanin pigments are responsible for the visible color of the skin, hair and eyes. Although the blood within the dermis and exogenous pigments as carotenoids may play a role in producing different skin hues, variations in skin pigmentation between different ethnic groups (namely Negroid, Asian and Caucasians) is primarily determined by the amount of melanin pigments in the epidermis. Melanin is produced by melanocytes, the specialized cells located at the dermo-epidermal junction. The number of melanocytes does not significantly change between different ethnic groups, i.e. Negroid have nearly the same population of melanocytes as Caucasians, but it is the melanin synthesizing activity of melanocytes which is higher in the darker skin.
  • Melanin plays a very important role in cosmesis. The skin hypopigmenting disorder vitiligo, in which melanocyte destruction results in regional loss of skin pigmentation, can highly affect the social life of individuals, especially those with face or hand involvement. Hyperpigmentary disorders as melasma and freckles are less serious but very common dermatological disorders, with time and money consuming nature. On the other hand, in many societies and cultures the darker or wither skin is regarded as to be more beautiful. In western civilizations a well-tanned complexion is considered to be more attractive. In these societies ultraviolet light or tanning lotions are used to enhance the pigmentation of normal skin. On the contrary, in most African, Asian and south American societies white skin is considered to be more beautiful.
  • Skin depigmenting (whitening) products are widely used in these cultures to produce an overall whiter or Caucasian skin tone. Despite the wide use of the over the counter or prescription  products to treat hyperpigmentation, the general information of the population on the appropriate and safe depigmenting agents is considerably low, leading to the use of hazardous agents as mercury salts, potent steroids and potentially dangerous oral medications for skin lightening.
  • This page and the links it connects to are dedicated to provide scientific information on the efficacy and safety of known skin depigmenting agents, and to help individuals choose the safe and effective depigmenting products appropriate for their condition.

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Category : couleur de la peau - Modifie le 11.16.2010Category : cultural foctors - Modifie le 11.16.2010Category : différences raciales - Modifie le 11.16.2010Category : facteurs culturels - Modifie le 11.16.2010Category : guide for the choice of depigmenting creams - Modifie le 11.16.2010Category : guide pour le choix de crèmes dépigmentantes - Modifie le 11.16.2010Category : mélanine - Modifie le 11.16.2010Category : pigmentation - Modifie le 11.16.2010Category : racial differences - Modifie le 11.16.2010Category : skin color - Modifie le 11.16.2010Category : skin colour - Modifie le 11.16.2010