What are the different types of pigmentation?
There are many pigmentary disorders, both genetic and acquired. The most common ones include melasma, freckles, lentigos, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and Hori’s nevus.
Melasma – Presents as a diffuse brown and/or grey pigmentation on the forehead and cheeks. It
occurs more frequently in women than men and is caused by genetic factors, hormonal changes and
sun exposure. It is often encountered in pregnancy or with oral contraceptive use.
Freckles and Lentigos (Liver Spots) – These present as distinct, polka dot like spots on the
cheeks and nose. Freckles are often light brown in color and are more often seen in fair-skinned
individuals, both children and adults alike. They may fade with sun avoidance. Lentigos are
generally bigger and more clearly defined spots. They are seen in adults following years of sun
damage and persist despite further avoidance of sun exposure.
Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) – As the name suggests, this occurs following injury or
inflammation in the skin. The commonest cause on the face is post-acne pigmentation. Individuals
of darker skin tones are more susceptible.
Hori’s Naevus – Presents as brown or blue grey spots on one or both cheekbone areas. It has a
predominance in females of Asian descent.