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Skin pigmentation results from excess melanin production, a natural black/brown pigment in the skin. Causes include UV exposure, hormones, and genetics. Post-inflammatory pigmentation (PIH) can occur after skin injury, often mistaken for a scar but is actually hyperpigmented spots, not a true depressed scar.

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What is Pigmentation?

The stages of pigmentation development involve a series of processes in the skin:

What causes Pigmentation?

UV Exposure

Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or tanning beds stimulates melanin production.

Hormonal Changes

Fluctuations in hormones, such as during pregnancy (melasma) or due to birth control, can contribute to pigmentation issues.


Inherited factors can influence melanin production and distribution, affecting an individual's susceptibility to pigmentation.


Skin injuries, acne, or inflammatory conditions can lead to post-inflammatory pigmentation (PIH), causing dark spots.


As skin ages, there may be changes in melanin production and distribution, contributing to age spots or uneven pigmentation.


Certain medications, like some antibiotics or anti-seizure drugs, can cause pigmentation changes as a side effect.

Hormonal Treatments

Hormone-based treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy, may impact melanin production and skin pigmentation.

Chemical Exposure

Exposure to certain chemicals or irritants can trigger pigmentation changes in the skin.

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