Depigmentation L81.8

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Depigmentations; Hypomelanosis; Hypomelanosis (e); Hypopigmentation; Lack of Pigment; Light skin; Loss of pigment; macules; Pigment deficiency; Skin spots; Variations in pigmentation; White patches of skin

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Depigmentation is a pathological, clinical symptom caused by a congenital or acquired, solitary or multiple, localized or disseminated, in rare cases also generalized or universal color loss of the skin, caused by a melanin deficiency(hypomelanosis) or by a complete melanin loss(amelanosis) of the skin due to loss or dysfunction of melanocytes. If depigmentation or hypopigmentation occurs temporarily as a result of skin diseases (intra- and/or perilesional), they are called leukoderms, s.a. pseudoleukoderm.

Depigmentation is the opposite pathological finding of hyperpigmentation.

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In the following, clinical pictures are listed which are characterized by the clinical symptom "depigmentation".

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It is already assumed that > 100 genes are involved in skin pigmentation. Disturbances can occur at any level of pigmentation due to:
  • Change in melanocyte count
  • inadequate melanin synthesis
  • defects in the maturation, transport or transfer of melanosomes

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The opposite finding, the pathological compression of the melanin of the skin or mucous membrane, is called hyperpigmentation.

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  1. Giehl K et al (2010) Genetically caused pigmentation disorders. Dermatologist 61: 567-577


Please ask your physician for a reliable diagnosis. This website is only meant as a reference.


Last updated on: 29.10.2020