Pigmented Lesions

Most of us are born with various birthmarks, even if it's only a few freckles or minor skin marks. Other pigmented lesions may be of greater cosmetic concern, such as café-au-lait spots, or those acquired with age, called solar lentigines known as age spots. Women may also acquire skin pigmentation associated with pregnancy, childbirth, oral contraceptives, or estrogen replacement therapy. This skin condition is the result of the accumulation of excess melanin, the substance that gives our skin its colour. Melanin is the dark pigment present in skin and is produced by melanocytes, usually in response to sun damage. Pigmented lesions occur when an abundance of melanocytes are found in the skin. When dark pigment multiplies, it forms freckles, brown age spots and moles. The mechanism of pigmented lesion removal is based upon selective destruction of melanocytes and melanosome-containing epidermal keratinocytes. The lesion darkens and crusts after treatment, and is naturally sloughed off the skin within two weeks.