Skin pigmentation disorders

If a person has lighter or darker skin patches, this may signify a skin pigmentation disorder. Type of skin pigmentation disorder includes:


This is a common skin condition that usually affects facial skin and causes brown patches. It affects women more often than men. Triggers of Melasma can include sun exposure and hormonal changes.


This disease can affect any part of the body. It causes the cells that produce melanin, known as melanocytes, to stop working correctly, which results in patches of lighter skin. Sometimes, it will also change a person’s hair color. The exact cause of vitiligo is unknown, but a problem with the immune system may be responsible.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation

This is a temporary increase or decrease in skin pigment following skin trauma, such as a blister or burn.


People with albinism do not produce enough melanin. This leads to little or no pigment in the skin, hair, or eyes. Albinism is a genetic disorder, meaning that a person inherits a faulty gene from one or both of their parents.

Other causes

If discolored skin patches appear suddenly and then disappear, there may be a simple explanation.

Causes of temporary patches or blotches of red skin include:

  • Blushing
  • Exercising
  • Sunburn

Causes of temporary patches of pale skin include:

  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Low blood sugar
  • Cold weather conditions

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