Skin pigmentation can occur in various forms such as age spots, melasma, sun spots, patches, and sun damage. Without proper care, these small and brown spots may become a big problem. Besides reducing appearance, skin pigmentation may even indicate an underlying disease. This makes it important to treat them at the early stages.
Natural home remedies are effective in reducing skin pigmentation to a great extent. In this article, we will share a few natural methods and beauty tips that will give relief from skin pigmentation and improve skin appearance.
About Skin Pigmentation
Melanin is a pigment that your body produces on its own. This pigment is responsible to give natural color to your skin, eyes, and hair. More than permissible levels of melanin cause it to accumulate on the skin. This leads to skin pigmentation. This problem is seen both in women and men.
Skin pigmentation is characterized as abnormal color on the skin that takes the form of age spots, beige/brown marks, freckles, dark-colored patches on the skin, and more. They are the cause behind an uneven skin tone. Before we learn ways to deal with the problem, let us learn why does it happen.
Different Types Of Skin Pigmentation
Many reasons lead to skin pigmentation. These includes:
- Contact dermatitis,
- Skin Infections that include tinea versicolor, acne, ringworm, candidiasis
- Underlying medical condition
- Fluctuations in hormones, etc. can get you dark-colored patches and skin pigmentation.
Types Of Skin Pigmentation
Skin discoloration occurs in different ways as mentioned below:
1. Age Spots
This is the commonest type of pigmentation that is formed due to excessive exposure to sun rays. It is an indication of sun damage.
This type of pigmentation is caused due to changes in hormone levels in the body. It can appear on a large section of the skin. Such type of pigmentation is mostly seen during pregnancy when major hormonal changes take place in the body.
This is another type of skin pigmentation caused due to exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun. This type of pigmentation is characterized as dots and dots on the face.
4. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
In this type, marks or spots are caused due to inflamed skin. This happens when the skin gets burned, injured, or exposed to any harsh chemical-based treatment.
This is another type of skin pigmentation that is caused due to an auto-immune condition. In this condition, the melanin-producing cells stop functioning. This leads to the formation of light-colored patches on the skin. Vitiligo impacts a specific body region or any part of the body.
This is basically a genetic disorder. It happens when there is insufficient production of melanin in the body.
What Causes Skin Pigmentation?
Skin pigmentation is believed to be the biggest culprit that leads to excess production of melanin in the body. There are a few other causes behind skin pigmentation as:
- Injury or post-inflammatory pigmentation (injury, acne, chickenpox marks, etc.)
- Hormonal changes
- Skin trauma
- Skin rashes
- Skin infections
- Medical conditions like lupus, untreated diabetes, or cyanosis
- A specific type of skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, actinic keratosis, melanoma, etc.
People in India and Asian countries are more prone to skin pigmentation due to their genetics. This is because of tropical climate at these locations. Other than this, people who have darker skin tones are also more susceptible to developing dark spots.
Home Remedies For Skin Pigmentation
Lemon is an effective bleaching agent. It helps lighten and tighten the skin. As lemon is very acidic in nature, addition of organic honey is beneficial.
Take a bowl and add two teaspoons of lemon juice to it. Now add one teaspoon of organic honey to it. Apply this mixture to the skin. Wait for fifteen minutes and wash off the skin with lukewarm water.
This remedy can make the skin photosensitive. So, you should apply a good amount of sunscreen after you rinse off the skin. As lemon juice is highly concentrated, it can lead to skin irritation. Thus, it is advisable to perform a patch test before you perform this remedy. People with sensitive skin needs to be extra careful when using the remedy.
2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E helps lighten skin complexion, evens skin tone, and enhance the elasticity of the skin. There are three ways of treating the skin with Vitamin E.
- Topically apply Vitamin E-enriched creams and oil on the skin
- Consume vitamin E tablets
- Eat foods that are rich in Vitamin E such as broccoli, fish, pumpkin, nuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, avocado, spinach, and tofu.
Regular implementation of these remedies treats skin-pigmentation naturally.
3. Red Onion
The skin of red onion has the property to lighten scars and marks naturally. All you need is to rub freshly cut slices of red onion on the pigmented skin. After ten minutes, wash your off thoroughly. Repeat this process two times every day.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has polyphenolic compounds that improve skin texture. Application of ACV on the pigmented skin can lighten the spots. Dip a cotton swab into ACV solution and apply it to the skin. Let it stay for five minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water. Do it twice daily.
5. Licorice Root
Licorice has a polyphenolic flavonoid named glabridin that aids in the prevention of UV rays-induced pigmentation. The root exhibits anti-inflammatory properties that show depigmenting action.
All you need is to boil four to five licorice roots in water. Strain the liquid. Let it cool down and apply it to the discolored skin. Allow it to dry and rinse it off with plain water.
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has an active ingredient named aloin that lightens the skin tone.
Add a teaspoon of honey to two tablespoons of Aloe vera gel. Make a smooth paste. Leave it on for five minutes. Wash the skin using lukewarm water.
Milk is another potent remedy that can help get relief from skin pigmentation. The lactic acid in the milk can whiten your skin. It is effective in the treatment of melasma (a type of skin pigmentation).
Dip a cotton ball in fresh milk and apply it to the impacted region. After when it dries, rinse it off with lukewarm water. Do this two times a day consistently for two weeks.
8. Fullers Earth
Fuller’s Earth is beneficial in reducing pigmentation. It cools the skin and regulates oil secretion on it.
To use this remedy, take a bowl and add some Multani mitti, rose water, and lemon juice. Prepare a thick paste. Apply it to the skin. Let it stay for thirty minutes. Rinse it off with plain water. Repeat the steps three times a week.
9. Green Tea
Green Tea can inhibit the Tyrosinase enzyme that increases skin pigmentation in the skin. This remedy has a depigmenting effect on the skin.
Steep a green tea bag in hot water. Let it cool down. Rub this bag evenly on the impacted region. Do the treatment two times a day to see a visible reduction in skin pigmentation.
10. Tomato Juice
The beautifying properties of tomato juice make it a common treatment in a variety of skincare remedies. It has lycopene that shows skin lightening and brightening effects. It effectively protects the skin against the long-term consequences of photodamage.
Either apply tomato juice or rub a tomato slice on your dark spots. Leave it on for thirty minutes and rinse the skin with lukewarm water. Repeat the steps two times a day.
11. Orange Peel Powder
The powder made of dried orange peels is very effective in lightening the skin complexion. It lowers the accumulation of melanin in the skin. Regular application of the orange peel extract helps fade brown spots and lighten the skin.
Take a bowl and add honey, orange peel powder, and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Prepare a paste. Apply it to the skin. After when the paste dries, rinse it off with warm water. Perform the remedy thrice a week to see a visible reduction in skin pigmentation.
12. Potato Juice
Potato juice is also effective in fading the dark marks on the skin. The presence of azelaic acid in it helps reduce the blemishes caused due to pimple/acne on the skin.
Apply fresh potato juice or rub a freshly cut slice of potato on the spots. After 20 minutes, rinse the pigmented area with normal water. Do this daily for 15 days.
13. Sandalwood Oil
Sandalwood oil has alpha-santalol that protects from pigmentation caused due to tyrosinase enzyme and UV rays on the skin. Mix two to three drops of sandalwood oil in sweet almond oil/ jojoba oil. Rub this oil on the impacted skin. Repeat the steps once every day.
14. Mulberry Extract
The extract of Mulberry leaves has an active component named Mulberroside F that inhibits the activity of tyrosinase enzyme in the body. In this way, it prevents excess production of melanin in the body.
Take a bowl and add mulberry leaves in sweet almond oil for around three days. Apply this oil on the skin to see a considerable reduction in pigmentation.
15. Homemade Depigmentation Skincare Face Packs
These are some of the best face packs that can help reduce skin pigmentation.
- Mix curd and powdered almonds to prepare a smooth paste. Apply a thick layer of it on the skin. Wash it off after twenty minutes.
- Mix gram flour, curd, with a pinch of turmeric to prepare a thick paste. Apply it on pigmented skin. After fifteen minutes, when your skin dries, rinse it off with normal water.
- Add a little curd into some rice flour. Make a thick paste. This is a natural scrubbing agent that lightens the brown spots on the skin.
Use the above face packs once a week to see visible results.
Medical Treatment Alternatives To Treat Pigmentation
There are different types of treatment available to treat hyperpigmentation.
- Chemical peel
- Intense pulsed light treatment
- Laser resurfacing
- Topical creams (retinoids, hydroquinone, corticosteroids, and vitamin C)
The right selection of the treatment depends on the type of underlying problem that causes it.
Handy Tips To Prevent Pigmentation Of Skin
Prevention of undesirable skin discoloration is the primary step to prevent hyperpigmentation. Below are a few tips that help prevent skin pigmentation.
1. Use Sun Protection Daily
Exposure to ultraviolet rays can cause the formation of dark patches, age spots, and sunspots, which can lead to hyperpigmentation. Your skin may even look aged. Limiting exposure to sun rays and taking good skincare is very important. Make a habit to apply a good amount of sunscreen on the exposed areas of the skin 30 mins before going outside. It will keep the skin protected, moist, and flawless.
2. Eat Nutritious Diet
A balanced diet keeps the skin healthy. It provides adequate amounts of nutrients and vitamins to the body that initiates skin healing process.
3. Apply Sunscreen Lotion
Apply SPF 30-enriched sunscreen lotion after every four hours. It protects the skin for a long duration. It is the first line of action to treat dark-colored patches on the skin.
4. Apply Products That Reduces Skin Inflammation
Inflammation on the skin is one of the important reasons that cause the occurrence of dark skin spots on the skin. It makes the skin pigmented, and dark. One of the ways to treat the condition is to apply anti-inflammatory skincare products to lower inflammation.
5. Treat Your Skin With “Alpha Hydroxy Acid” Rich Products
Products that have alpha hydroxy acid are found to be effective in lowering pigmentation.
6. Take oral Vitamin C or glutathione supplements
Vitamin C and glutathione inhibit the tyrosinase enzyme that causes the excess formation of melanin. They boost the elasticity of the skin against the damaging sun rays. In addition to citrus fruits, you can also consider taking this vitamin in supplement form.
7. Moisturise The Skin
People who have dry skin are susceptible to tanning and skin pigmentation. Moisturizers make the skin naturally radiant and adequately-hydrated. Go for heavier moisturizers in the cold season. Glycerin, retinol, and hyaluronic acid encourages cell turnover that fades dark patches on the skin.
8. Apply Black Tea
Black tea has plenty of antioxidants that can help reduce pigmentation on the skin. It exhibits a skin-whitening effect by inhibiting the build-up of melanocytes in the body. Apply black tea two times a day to see the results.
9. Do Not Scratch The Pigmented Skin
If you pick on the pigmented skin, then it can lead to skin inflammation. This can increase the chances of skin discoloration. Treat the dark spots soon before they go deeper into the skin layers with time.
10. Use Mild Skincare Products
Chemical-rich products can cause skin irritation or burning sensation that can cause skin pigmentation or worsen the existing condition. Always use mild and gentle products on the skin especially when you have sensitive skin.
11. Do Not Bleach Your Skin
It is one of the primary reasons that lead to skin pigmentation. If it is very essential like occasion etc. you can opt for natural bleaching agents such as tomato juice, lemon juice, etc.
How Much Time Does It Take To Treat Hyperpigmentation?
Do not expect overnight relief from skin pigmentation. The amount of time it takes to treat hyperpigmentation depends on its severity. If it has impacted the deeper levels of the skin, then it may be difficult to treat it completely. With regular care, you can lighten the spots to a great extent.
A combination of the above home remedies and specialized medical treatment help enhance its appearance with time. Furthermore, you should reduce your exposure to the sun, and blue light that emits from the screen of electronic gadgets to prevent aggravation of the condition.
Use of sunscreen is helpful especially for those who are pregnant, on birth control, or in menopause. Depending on the severity of the condition, it would take anywhere between three months to two years to treat pigmentation. Proper skincare will accelerate the healing process.
Skin pigmentation is treatable. As natural treatments take time, you should be consistent with the treatment. Try these natural remedies to reduce the appearance of dark spots and avoid future skin damage too.
Not just these remedies cure pigmentation, but also help enhance skin health. If you do not see any benefit from these remedies, you should reach out to a dermatologist for specialized medical treatment.
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