The natural color of skin is provided by a pigment called melanin. Hyperpigmentation, a skin condition, occurs due to the excess production and deposition of melanin on some skin area which becomes darker than the surrounding skin. Mostly triggered by overexposure of sun, oral birth control pills, being pregnant or even a photoxic reaction to perfumed items, hyperpigmentation can make one feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. If not cared on time those stubborn blemishes get darken with time.
TYPES OF HYPERPIGMENTATION
Most common type of hyperpigmentation is Melasma, mainly seen in women with only 10% men affected by this, is those with butterfly pattern dark patches on nose, both side cheekbones, upper lips, and sometimes on forehead. These types of pigmentation are mostly seen in women taking birth control pills. Exposure of sunlight makes the patches darker and more prominent.
Chloasma is the type of hyperpigmentation developed in pregnant women on their faces, and thereby also known as “mask of pregnancy”. Freckles or Ephelides are also common and usually hereditary small patches seen in young people with fair skin and exposed to the sun.
PIH (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation) is another type of hyperpigmentation triggered by some type of injury or skin infections. Commonly it is seen after the acne spots or over use of skin products.
Photo pigmentation or Solar Lentigines is caused by exposure of sun for a prolonged period. This kind of hyperpigmentation, also known as liver spots or age spots, affects the cheeks, nose, and backside of hands.
HYPER PIGMENTATION TREATMENT
There are a wide range of treatments your dermatologist can offer you. Depending on the proper reason and severity, there may be different treatment options. Microdermabrasion is a light cosmetic procedure to treat the hyperpigmentation. It uses a mechanical medium for exfoliation to gently remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells from the epidermis.
Hyper pigmentation creams
- Bleaching creams containing hydroquinone, are some of the most commonly used for hyperpigmentation or melasma. Hydroquinone is U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved product for skin lightening. If applied daily to the affected area for several weeks to months, they gradually reduce the melanin levels of skin. For some individuals this can cause adverse reactions when used in high concentration.
- Since the sun rays are one of the prime causes for hyperpigmentation, whenever you go outside for a long period use sunscreen with SPF 30 or more. This will protect your skin from sun and thereby reduce the pigmentation caused by it.
HOME REMEDIES FOR HYPERPIGMENTATION
Natural homemade remedies are always preferred over conventional products because they are thought to have a minimal risk of side effects. Thankfully natural ingredients are a dime a dozen when it comes to skin problems. Let’s check some for hyperpigmentation.
Lemon is a natural bleaching agent which acts to fade the dark blemishes away from your face. Rub the lemon juice on hyperpigmented skin and leave it for a while. After few minutes, wash the face with water. Use this remedy for few months and you will see that the skin is lightening gradually.
Aloe Vera works excellent on hyperpigmentation by removing the dead skin cells and encouraging the skin to regenerate new skin cells. Before going to bed, apply some fresh aloe vera gel and rinse it off in the morning. Follow this for few weeks and it will not only diminish the dark patches but also make the skin fresh and rejuvenated.
To make an effective mask with aloe vera for hyperpigmentation, add half tablespoon of raw honey to aloe vera gel and mix them properly. Apply the mask on face and leave to dry. After 20 minutes, wash it off with lukewarm water.
Cocoa butter can be used as a massage agent to lighten the hyperpigmentation or patches of darker skin. It will not only moisturize your face but massaging the affected area with cocoa butter in night increase circulation and help break down the scar tissues to reduce the hyper pigmentation on the face.
Cucumber restrains such ingredients that are beneficial to the body, both internally and externally. Popularly cucumber is being used as a tested remedy to reduce dark circles and swelling around the eyes, but also effective to treat hyperpigmentation condition. Apply a slice to the affected areas of skin and leave on for 30 minutes. Besides, consumption of cucumbers is also great food for skin.
Ricinoleic acid, the main ingredient in castor oil has been known to reduce the appearance of acne scars and dark skin pigments. Take a cotton pad and rub castor oil directly onto the affected skin and leave on overnight for best results.
Alternatively you can try another great home remedy for hyperpigmentation by mixing a vitamin e powder which also known to reduce pigmentation. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that neutralizes the effects of harmful molecules, repairs and protects the skin. Break a vitamin e capsule and mix the powder in few drops of castor oil to apply on the skin.
Enriched with fatty acids, vitamin c and oleic acid, avocados are considered one of the best home remedies for hyperpigmentation and skin lightening. Mash a few avocado to make a paste, and apply that on the skin or you can directly apply the juice on affected areas as well.
To maximize the benefits, mash up half a ripened avocado and add 2 teaspoons of honey and apply it all over your face. While avocado can heal sun damage, honey on the other hand contains gentle bleaching and moisturizing properties. More Avocado Benefits for Skin
Apple Cider Vinegar
The vinegar is an acetic acid which can be found in supermarkets and health stores. Mix equal quantities of apple cider vinegar and water. Use a cotton ball to apply the solution to the hyperpigmented skin areas and rub for one or two minutes twice a day. In a few weeks the dark blemishes will started to fade and give you a lighter and glowing skin.
Sandalwood Powder with Rose Water
Sandalwood is well known ingredient for glowing skin complexion and works good when used for hyperpigmentation or other types of blemishes on skin. Make a paste of sandalwood powder and rose water to apply it over the face. Leave it for half an hour and wash it off with lukewarm water. This will not only remove the hyperpigmentation and skin tanning but will also make the skin fairer and supple.
Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties and is therefore an effective remedy for hyperpigmentation. Massaging and cleansing with olive oil can hydrate the skin and balance out the skin tone removing hyperpigmented skin. Simply massage olive oil onto the skin for 2-3 minutes, and then put a hot cloth onto the skin, letting the steam penetrate the pores. After the cloth cools, wipe away the excess oils and dead skin with the cloth.
Turmeric and Lime
The paste of turmeric and lime is another effective home remedy for hyperpigmentation. Both lime and turmeric have bleaching properties and their regular use help in getting flawless, lighter skin complexion. Apply the mixture of turmeric and lime on the affected skin and leave it for 10 minutes before washing.
PREVENTION IS THE KEY
Along with the many treatment options for hyperpigmentation, it is also vital to use preventive measures for those pigmented patches and spots from appearing on the skin. As Ultraviolet (UV) sunlight is one of the main causes of excessive melanin production, it is important to use a moisturizer that contains SPF 30 or SPF 55 every day to prevent sun damage. Use good quality skin products to clean and moisturize the skin on a regular basis.
Your skin reflects what you eat!
One of the most important vitamins to your skin’s overall health is vitamin C, which plays a key role in the production of collagen in your skin. Vitamin B12 helps regulate your skin’s pigment production and location, and vitamin B12 deficiency can trigger the dark spots and pigmentation on the skin. Thereby, the best way to prevent the hyperpigmentation caused by the deficiency is eating food enriched with vitamin B12 or as a vitamin supplement.
Armed with the nature’s best home remedies for pigmentation, you can definitely improve the appearance of your skin with a healthy diet. Eating a balanced nutritious diet full with fruits and vegetables, plenty of water intake, and a proper protection from sun exposure, you will wipe away those ugly dark blemishes and have your skin looking glowing and spotless.