Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Pigment Disorders

Many pigment disorders are congenital, or present at birth. Others develop later in life. Vitiligo often appears in the 20s, possibly when the immune system begins to attack the pigment-producing cells, melanocytes. Acanthosis nigricans can develop at any age, often due to obesity, medication, thyroid disease or diabetes.

Diagnosing pigment disorders

Most pigment disorders can be diagnosed by a simple physical exam. Your physician may also order blood tests to determine if a change in pigmentation is due to an underlying condition, such as diabetes.