Melanin is the natural pigment that gives your skin color. From the palest skin tones to skin that is dark and rich, the concentration of melanin in your skin is part of what makes you uniquely you. Over time, however, irregularities can develop causing clusters of pigment to form on your skin making it either darker (hyperpigmentation) or lighter (hypopigmentation) than the surrounding skin.
Conversely, hypopigmentation is caused by a decrease in the amount of melanin produced by your body. Hypopigmentation may be present at birth or may develop as you age. Types of hypopigmentation include:
- Skin damage resulting from blisters, burns, infection, or other trauma
- Vitiligo, an autoimmune disorder in which smooth, white patches form on the skin
- Albinism, a rare disorder of the skin characterized by an absence of melanin produced by the skin