Diffuse Pigmentation: Common Pigmentation Over a Wide Spectrum

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Diffuse Pigmentation: Normal Pigmentation Within a Broad Range

Diffuse pigmentation is when the skin has a normal amount of pigmentation, no matter what color it is. When someone has a normal amount of pigmentation, it’s refer to as physiologic pigmentation because there’s nothing wrong with it and it’s natural in the same way that freckles are normal but birthmarks are not. In other words, it’s the same thing as freckles or age spots or tanning, but unlike those things it does not indicate sun damage.

What Is Physiologic Pigmentation?

Physiologic pigmentation is an increase in skin coloration. Skin will usually exhibit this color from some changes in melanin production, although it can be brought on by other changes such as increase blood flow to the skin. Hyperthyroidism is when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine (T4) and too little triiodothyronine (T3). This can cause dark brown patches to form on the inside of your forearms or along the sides of your neck. The adrenal glands fail to produce adequate amounts of mineralo-corticoids and glucocorticoids. In Addison’s disease, there is typically diffuse pigmentation. It also may occur because of a medication side effect.

Determining Your Skin Tone

Skin tone can be determine by the amount of melanin that is in your skin. The pigment melanin protects skin cells from ultraviolet rays from the sun, so if you are not naturally protect from the sun, you need to use sunscreen or stay inside. Hyperthyroidism and hemochromatosis are disorders that cause excessive pigmentation of the skin. They are uncommon and present with similar symptoms as erythroderma, which is a skin condition where there is abnormal dilation of blood vessels in one’s skin, often presenting with an itchy red rash. The levels of pigment increase because hyperthyroidism or hemochromatosis causes production of too much iron.

Understanding Low-Grade Pigmentation

Low-grade pigmentation is cause by damage to the adrenal glands that cause an inadequate production of mineralo-corticoids and glucocorticoids. The most common treatments for low-grade pigmentation are medications to help the gland function normally, but this is not always possible. Low-grade pigmentation can also occur as a side effect of certain medications, or as an effect of hemochromatosis. Addison’s disease can lead to low-grade pigmentation in skin cells because it weakens adrenal gland activity.

Types of Nodules and Other Abnormalities Caused by Hormones

Adrenal Gland nodules that fail to produce adequate amounts of mineralo-corticoids and glucocorticoids are call Conn’s syndrome or primary adrenal insufficiency. Hemochromatosis is a disorder where an individual’s body takes too much iron from food. Iron is need for hemoglobin production, and when it builds up in the liver, heart, pancreas, joints, and skin may become dark brownish-black in coloration. Hypertension also causes diffuse pigmentation because the adrenal glands fail to produce adequate amounts of mineralo-corticoids and glucocorticoids.

Knowing Whether You Have Benign or Malignant Skin Lesions Can Save Your Life

Some conditions are very easy to diagnose such as inflammatory dermatitis, also known as atopic dermatitis. This is due to the patches that have an inflame appearance and often blister from scratching. Another skin condition is pruritus or itching due to unknown causes; this condition can be diagnose by examining for allergies or bug bites which both present red irritate skin. Diffuse pigmentation just means normal pigmentation within a broad range; this could be cause by hemochromatosis which is a condition of too much iron in the body.

Diagnosing Diffuse High-Grade Melanocytic Proliferations (DHGP) with MRIs

MRIs have been the most helpful tool in the diagnosis of diffuse high-grade melanocytic proliferations (DHGP). MRI can also aid in differentiation between benign and malignant lesions, as well as between primary and metastatic lesions. Hemochromatosis is another cause for DHGP. This may also occur because of side effects of certain medications or because of Addison’s disease.

There is No Cure For DHGP

Pigment in the skin cells may be darker, redder, or lighter than normal. There is no cure for DHGP and there are not any treatments that lighten or remove pigment from the skin. Laser therapy is still an experimental treatment for DHGP because it has not been prove to work effectively. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) notes that increase pigmentation is just one of many symptoms relate to Diffuse Hyperpigmented Generalize Pustular (DHGP).

Treatment Options Include Surgical Excision and Electrodessication (Burning/Cauterization), Laser Surgery, PDT (photodynamic therapy), Radiation Therapy, Photopheresis

If you can stop the pigmentation, you will prevent it from spreading. You may be able to stop it if you remove it or the cause of its development. This includes dermatologists and aesthetic surgeons who may be able to remove the pigment with lasers or dermabrasion procedures. Surgery is not always an option because dark skin can sometimes make pigment removal difficult. There are also creams that doctors prescribe to help slow down pigmentation from spreading and these include kojic acid, hydroquinone and retinoids. If this isn’t enough there are also products on the market like bleaching agents which contain ingredients like hydrogen peroxide, glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acids that lighten skin color by increasing cell turnover rates.

How do you stop pigmentation from spreading?

Medications can help diffuse the spread of pigmentation, but they must be taken consistently. Other ways to protect the skin from pigmentation are to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen, avoid sun exposure and tanning beds, use skin-lightening lotions on effect areas for two months before using twice daily and wearing loose clothing that does not rub against the area. The doctor will decide which is appropriate for you base on your condition.

What medical conditions cause pigmentation?

The two medical conditions that are known to cause pigmentation are hemochromatosis and Addison’s disease. Hemochromatosis is a rare, genetic disorder of the body’s iron metabolism that causes the skin, hair, and nails to turn dark brown or even black. This condition is cause by excess iron being store in tissues where it cannot be broken down, even when people have normal levels of iron in their diet. Although not harmful in most cases, there can be some serious side effects associate with this disease. Addison’s disease occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol. Other hormones necessary for life functions such as bone growth and blood pressure regulation.


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