Biology of hypopigmentation

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1988 Aug;19(2 Pt 1):217-55. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(88)70168-1.


A review of the basics of pigment cell biology is followed by a discussion of the characteristics of several disorders of hypopigmentation. By determining such features as inheritance pattern, time of onset (congenital, childhood, adulthood), natural history (stable vs progressive), type of pigment loss (diffuse or circumscribed), distribution of lesions (generalized vs localized), degree of pigment loss (incomplete or complete), number of melanocytes, if any, in biopsy specimens of affected areas, type of melanocytic dysfunction, and associated inflammation or infection, one can classify the disorders of hypopigmentation. The proposed pathophysiology for each disorder of hypomelanosis is presented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Pigmentation Disorders* / classification
  • Pigmentation Disorders* / pathology
  • Pigmentation Disorders* / physiopathology