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Definition of Depigmentation

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Depigmentation: Loss of color (pigment) from the skin, mucous membranes, hair, or retina of the eye.

The color of the skin, mucous membranes, hair, and retina is due to the deposition of melanin, which is a coloring matter. Melanin is produced by specialized cells called melanocytes.

Other terms pertaining to pigment include pigmentation (the presence of pigment), hypopigmentation and underpigmentation (too little pigment), and hyperpigmentation (too much pigment).

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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