Skin Pigment Disorders

Skin color is determined by a pigment (melanin) made by specialized cells in the skin (melanocytes). The amount and type of melanin determines a person's skin color. Pigment disorders on the skin occur when there are abnormalities in melanin.

For example, in vitiligo, the skin turns white (becomes de-pigmented) because there are no melanocytes in the skin in that area. In the case of melasma, the melanocytes have been stimulated, often by hormones, to produce more pigment in specific areas of the skin.

Types of Pigment Disorders

  • Albinism
  • Melasma
  • Pigment loss after skin damage
  • Vitiligo

Treatment for Skin Pigment Disorders

The treatment of pigment disorders usually involves reversing or minimizing the melanoma abnormalities that are the source of the problem. For vitiligo we may stimulate re-growth of melanocytes (melanin cells) or for melasma decrease pigment production.

There are diverse therapies from light or laser therapies to bleaching creams to treat pigment disorders. Our specialists can help you determine what treatment will work best for your condition and needs.

University of Utah Hospital
Clinic 28

50 N. Medical Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah 84132

Midvalley Health Center

243 East 6100 South
Murray, Utah 84107