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How is melanin pigmentation controlled ?

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Posted on Sat, 21 Apr 2012
Question: Hi, I am Afro Caribbean and my husband is White European. Our baby who is 6 weeks old has light brown skin and has developed a quite darker patch on his cheek. Is this likely to fade, stay the same, or could the rest of his colour deepen to match this darker area?
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Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal (1 hour later)
Hello,

Thanks for writing to us.

Dark pigmentation patches in such a young infant is most likely due to hyperactivity of cells producing the pigment melanin. In most of the cases it is a localised patch and does not necessarily spread to cover the whole skin to make it uniform.
There are treatments available to lighten such darkened patches but these are usually not advised at such an early age. You can discuss the options available with your dermatologist.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.

Regards,

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Follow up: Dr. Rakhi Tayal (39 hours later)
Thanks.

I understand that any treatment, if necessary, would have to wait until baby is much older.

But I just wanted to know if the pigmentation is likely to be permanent or or not without any intervention.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal (8 hours later)
Hello,

Thanks for writing again.

Right now it will be too early to commit that the pigmentation is permanent or not. In small children it has been seen that such marks if present right since birth may be permanent otherwise they keep on increasing or decreasing in size or intensity of color.

Hope I have answered your query.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Dr. Rakhi Tayal

OBGYN

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 13872 Questions

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How is melanin pigmentation controlled ?

Hello,

Thanks for writing to us.

Dark pigmentation patches in such a young infant is most likely due to hyperactivity of cells producing the pigment melanin. In most of the cases it is a localised patch and does not necessarily spread to cover the whole skin to make it uniform.
There are treatments available to lighten such darkened patches but these are usually not advised at such an early age. You can discuss the options available with your dermatologist.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.

Regards,