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Last updated on June 11th, 2019 at 11:04 am
What is Skin Pigmentation and Why Does it Occur?

What is Skin Pigmentation and Why Does it Appear?

Having crystal clear complexion is the holy grail of beauty.

Having crystal clear complexion is the holy grail of beauty.

There are many different types of pigmentation. Pigmentation is caused by an oversupply of melanin in an area of skin. This could be due to natural inborn factors or external causes such as sun exposure.

Types Of Pigmentation

Different types of pigmentation have their own unique characteristics and therefore require different methods of treatment.

The common types of pigmentation are:


Freckles are small brown marks that usually appear on sun-exposed areas.

Solar Lentigo

Solar lentigos, also known as sun or age spots, are larger and have more defined outlines compared to freckles.

They arise in middle age and appear on sun-exposed areas such as the face, arms and hands.


Melasma results in symmetrical, brownish patches on the face. It is more common in women and darker skin types. It is caused by a variety of factors such as:

1. Sun exposure
2. Pregnancy
3. Hormonal imbalances

Due to the unique nature of melasma, it is more difficult to treat compared with most other types of pigmentation.

Hori’s Nevus

Hori’s nevus, also known as Acquired Bilateral Naevus of Ota-Like Macules (ABNOM) is a condition seen almost exclusively in Asian Chinese skin type.

It typically, appears as bluish-gray flat hyperpigmentation on the cheeks, but may involve the eyelids, forehead and nose as well.

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is seen after skin injury, infection, or inflammation (e.g. Acne, Eczema) to the skin.

It can be temporary lasting a couple of months or may become a permanent feature on your skin.

Did you know?

Dr. Justin Boey is a featured expert on DoctorXDentist on pigmentation laser treatments.

If you’re not a huge fan of laser treatments, there’s good news! Lasers aren’t the only answer to pigmentation concerns, read more about it here.