Skin discoloration, as the term implies, refers to the discoloration of the skin tone. When there is a change in the natural color of the skin, the condition is called skin discoloration. This can bring about a lot of consequences such as the skin turning white, lighter in color, yellowish, reddish, bluish and even orange. The skin cells called the melonocytes are responsible for producing melanin or the skin pigment. The skin color is determined by the melanin secreted and the blood flow. As per the skin tone and the skin color, there can be various types of skin discoloration. Before taking a look at the reasons behind this skin condition, let us check out some of the types of discoloration.
Cases of skin discoloration
• When there is the loss of skin pigment, it is called hypopigmentation. With the loss of melanin, the person bears a light skin tone. Some examples of this skin condition include tinea versicolor and vitiligo.
• Then, there can be hyperpigmentation which is just the opposite of hypopigmentation. When there are excessive and overreaction skin cells or melonocytes, the skin turns darker. The melanin production is increased and the condition is termed as hyperpigmentation. Any kind of overexposure to the sun, dirt and dust may cause hyperpigmentation.
• When there is reduction in oxyhemoglobin, the skin becomes pale. Based on the symptoms of skin paleness, there can be various kinds. It may happen that the paleness can be noticed in certain parts of the skin or it can make the entire skin pale.
• Skin redness is another kind of discoloration where the skin turns red due to sunburn, viral infection and rashes.
• When the skin becomes severely yellow, the skin appears to be orange. This kind of discoloration may be noticed in infants when they change from liquid to solid diet.
Causes of skin discoloration
Skin discoloration may result due to several reasons. Each kind of discoloration is the result of abnormality in the metabolism. Following are some causes:
• Diseases are the foremost reason behind skin discoloration. Most of the times, the change in the skin color is due to skin ailments. If there is some liver disease, the skin might turn yellow. Similarly, albinism leads to white skin, anemic people have pale skin while the cyanotic heart disease results to cyanosis.
• Due to the effects of certain medicines also there can be skin discoloration. There may be hyperpigmentation with the use of antibiotics and drugs to treat malarial fever.
• Pregnancy may also lead to hyperpigmentation. During pregnancy, there is an increase in the activity and working of melanocytes and thus the skin turns darker. After the childbirth, melasma tends to fade away.
• As per the recent researches, certain types of foods may cause a change in the color of the skin. When you intake the food comprising psoralens, the skin sensitivity increases. Regular intake of lime and parsley may cause skin discoloration if you are exposed to the rays of the sun.
Any kind of discoloration on the skin may be treated with proper medication. The symptoms of the color change may vary as per the severity of the situation and the cause.