Ever wondered why your pen*s and nipples are darker than the rest of your skin?
Regardless of race, a person’s pen*s and nipples are naturally a shade or two deeper in colour than the rest of their skin and this is linked to the effects of sex hormones produced during puberty.
According to experts, sex hormones produced during puberty stimulates the production of melanin – the amino acid responsible for hair and skin colour which results in the darkening of the skin on a man’s pen*s and nipples and a woman’s areolas and labia to darken.
However, experts also reveal that medical conditions such as hormonal or sugar imbalance as seen in those with diabetes can also contribute to the darkening of one’s genitals.
Dr Lindsey Bordone told Daily Mail: “Your skin can darken in certain areas when your sugars are very high and developing diabetes.”
A person generally has lighter pigmentation all over their skin during childhood regardless of race. Sex hormones during puberty then stimulates the production of melanin thereby causing a change in pigmentation.
Dr Bordone added: “When girls are young, their nipples are light. And as they get older, hormones have an effect and the nipples darken.
“It’s very similar for boys.”
Women experience an increase in the production of estrogen during puberty while men experience an influx of testosterone.
These hormones (estrogen in women and testosterone in men) regulate melanocytes, which are skin cells that produce melanin.
Dr Cameron Rokhsar told Daily Mail: “Hormones regulate the way melanocytes produce their pigments.
“Those can have an effect on the way the skin in that area pigments, so generally that area is darker.”
External factors such as friction can also affect pigmentation after puberty according to experts. This is because the skin naturally thickens to protect itself when it experiences friction.
Experts also revealed to Daily Mail that genital darkening also occurs in men who wear tight clothing, shave their genitals or experience an itch or infection that results in rubbing and scratching.