Skin pigmentation is caused by a natural pigment called melanin. Melanin is produced and distributed by melanocytes; a minor population of specialized skin cells found in the basal layer of the epidermis. The melanin is distributed to keratinocytes, which proliferate and move toward the skin surface, giving the skin its characteristic colour. Melanin can also be found in hair follicles and is responsible for hair colour.
Melanin is synthesized from tyrosine in melanosomes, which are vesicles found within melanocytes. The melanin synthesis is also known as melanogenesis. This process is catalysed by different enzymes, the critical ones being tyrosinase (TYR), tyrosinase-related protein (TYRP1) and dopachrome tautomerase (DCT).
Melanin is essential for UV protection of the skin. Sun exposure (UV light) triggers the production of melanin and is the main cause of uneven skin pigmentation, often referred to as hyperpigmentation.
Claims Related to Pigmentation
- Skin lightening
- Skin whitening
- Dark spot decrease