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Can the colour of skin change with age? Can a dark skinned person become fair or vice versa? Can Melanocyte production vary?

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There are all sorts of things that can stimulate melanocytes, most notably UV rays (ie from the Sun). So yes, melanogenesis can very over age and exposure to the Sun. Young infants often are lacking build ups of melanin in their skin, eyes, and hair, which is why these things darken with age.

There are other more pathogenic ways to change melanogenesis, including malnutrition, but UV exposure this health common way.

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you dial back your pigmentation campaign a little? What you are doing is fine but it is generating a hell of a lot of review jobs, and bringing all these old questions to the front page. Please try to only make a few such edits per day. $\endgroup$ – terdon Aug 29 '13 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ @terdon I'm done. Sorry, I didn't think about resurrecting old questions to the front page. I did find an unanswered one I want to go back and answer. I won't go through them all at once again. $\endgroup$ – Atl LED Aug 29 '13 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ Hey, no worries, you are actively improving the site, just try and avoid too many consecutive edits like that :). Answering is fine mind you, newly answered questions should be on the front page. $\endgroup$ – terdon Aug 29 '13 at 16:28
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Vitiligo is a loss of skin pigmentation that causes patches of lighter skin as the immune system attacks melanocytes. It can eventually progress to cover the entire body.

Edit:

Ongenae, K., Van Geel, N. and Naeyaert, J.-M. (2003), Evidence for an Autoimmune Pathogenesis of Vitiligo. Pigment Cell Research, 16: 90–100. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0749.2003.00023.x

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a reference or 2 for your answer? $\endgroup$ – user3795 Aug 28 '13 at 19:54

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