Hyperpigmentation means development of patches on the skin that are darker than the original skin colour. It is a result of excess melanin production due to various factors and is a very common condition experienced by many people. In some cases it can go away on its own but takes a while to go. There are many natural remedies that can help to deal with hyperpigmentation which can improve the overall skin texture too.
Types of Hyperpigmentation:
Melasma: Appears due to hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause. Increased hormonal secretion results in increase in melanin synthesis.
Sun exposure: Excess exposure to sun can lead to hyperpigmentation. Use of sunscreen lotion prior to sun exposure may help prevent the issue.
Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation: Caused due to injury or inflammation of skin. One example is acne.
Reactions to drugs use: Certain medications like anti depressants or chemotherapy drugs can cause hyperpigmentation. Sometimes chemicals in topical treatments can cause skin darkening. Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions such as Addisons disease and hemochromatosis(excess iron in body) can cause hyperpigmentation.
Natural ways to deal with hyperpigmentation:
Aloevera: Aloevera contains aloin which is a natural depigment compound and tends to lighten the patches on the skin. Apply aloevera gel to the patches in the night at bed time and wash it with plain water in the morning.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Made by fermenting apple juice. Contains acetic acid which acts as natural bleaching agent and helps to fade dark spots within few weeks. Mix half tsp of apple cider vinegar to 1 tsp of honey. Dab on patches and wash after 15 min with water.
Diet: Healthy foods containing vitamin C and flavonoids help reduce hyperpigmentation. Some of such foods are: carrots , broccoli, bell papers fruits like papaya, oranges, grapes, cherries.
Vitamins: Vitamin C decreases the melanin synthesis leading to antioxidant protection against damage due to UV exposure so citrus fruits can help. Vitamin B12 deficiency also increases the melanin synthesis leading to hyperpigmentation hence foods rich in Vitamin B12 should be consumed. Mix juice of lemon or orange with honey and apply on the patches. Wash off with water after 15 minutes.
Hydration: staying hydrated by drinking 2-3 litres of water fights pigmentation effectively.
Licorice extract: May help to lighten hyperpigmentation. Mix with rosewater and apply on the face. After drying moisten with water and gently scrub the face followed by washing the face.
Green Tea: May help to reduce melasma and sun burn. Apply the cooled down green tea to face and wash after it dries up.
Milk or curd: Both milk and curd contain lactic acid and act as a natural bleach.
Soak a cotton ball in milk and apply to the face. Wash with luke warm water after it dries and feels stretchy. Similarly apply curd directly to face or add some licorice powder .Wash off with warm water after it dries.
Tomato: Applying regularly help to get rid of marks and patches. Mix tomato juice with honey and apply to the face. Wash off with plain water after 15 minutes.
Turmeric: The active ingredient Curcumin inhibits the melanin production in the skin cells. Face pack made up of chickpeas flour, turmeric and rosewater helps to reduce the dark spots and also calm the irritation.
Potato: The enzyme catecholase in Potato acts as a natural bleach and potato juice applied to the dark spots alternate day for few months helps to lighten the patches.
Any of these home remedies when followed regularly help to deal with hyperpigmentation.
Using completely organic serums, creams and products which are free of chemicals , free of paraben and sulphates can help to get rid of hyperpigmentation while benefiting the skin in all aspects.