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International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology


Changes in the color of the skin occur when there is interference with the  melanocytes, the pigment producing cells which make melanin.  A variety of situations can lead to lightening (hypopigmentation) or darkening (hyperpigmentation) of the skin.  Some examples include:

  • Lightening of the skin
    • Albinism
    • Bleaching agents
      • Hydroquinones
      • Mequinol
      • Trichloracetic acid
    • Burn
    • Cortico-steroid application
      • Intralesionally
      • Topically
    • Pityriasis alba
    • Post-inflammatory hypopigmentation
    • Tinea versicolor
    • Vitiligo
  • Darkening of the skin
    • Burn
    • Cushing’s disease
    • Melasma
    • Poikiloderma of Civatte
    • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
    • Photodermatitis
    • Porphyria cutanea tarda
    • Polymorphic light eruption
    • PUVA and PUVB (psoralens and ultraviolet light)
    • Suntanning
    • Tinea versicolor

Lawrence Charles Parish, MD, MD (Hon)
Philadelphia, PA, USA

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