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Pigmentation is a normal part of skin function. When pigmentation occurs, it is actually your body's natural sunscreen, however, there is a limit and your skin can only deal with so much. Keratinocytes receive melanin and cover the nucleus to protect it from environmental damage. Melanocytes produce melanosomes, when stimulated, the melanosomes travel up through the dendrites to the keratinocytes (Skin Cells). Elements that affect pigmentation:

  • Ultra-vioLET radiation (UV),

  • Environmental - External stressors

  • Hormones- Internal Stressors

These elements cause reactive oxygen species in the skin and therefore, cause an imbalance in the homeostasis of the skin.

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As a result of keratinisation and dysfunction of the production of melanosomes, hyperpigmentation occurs.


Hyperpigmentation is the overproduction of melanin in each keratinocyte caused by dysfunction.


When Keratinocytes differentiate, they become darker and this is because the pigment is more concentrated in these cells. Melanocytes are part of your normal skin cell structure and space at intervals within the skin.


When dendrites perform normally, they disperse the melanin pigment across the skin, however, the overproduction of melanin causes them to become deformed and malfunction, therefore depositing melanin in a smaller area that would normally be destined for 30 or more keratinocytes.


This is the formation of isolated dark spots. Hypopigmentation, is the opposite of Hyperpigmentation. It is the lack of melanin synthesis.


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