Pigmentation refers to the coloring of the skin. Skin pigmentation disorders cause skin color variations. Melanin is made by cells in the skin called melanocytes and is the pigment responsible for your skin’s color.
Hyperpigmentation is a medical term used to describe darker patches of skin. These patches result from excess melanin production, which can be caused by everything from acne scars and sun damage to hormone fluctuations. This can affect patches of your skin or your entire body.
Hyperpigmentation is usually harmless but can sometimes be caused by an underlying medical condition.
Certain medications can also cause your skin to darken. It’s more of a cosmetic issue for most people.
Types of Hyperpigmentation
There are various types of hyperpigmentation which includes the following:
- Melasma: Melasma is believed to be caused by hormonal changes and may develop during pregnancy. Areas of hyperpigmentation can appear on any area of the body, but they appear most commonly on the stomach and face.
- Sunspots: Sunspots also called Liver spot are common. They’re related to excess sun exposure over time. Generally, they appear as spots on areas exposed to the sun, like the hands and face.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: This is a result of injury or inflammation to the skin. A common cause of this type is acne.
Home remedies for pigmentation
Some cases of hyperpigmentation can be treated medically by topical prescription medication. This medication most times contains hydroquinone, which lightens the skin. Incessant use of this topical hydroquinone can cause your skin to darken, which is known as ochronosis.
However, there are several other ways that you can treat hyperpigmentation at home. These remedies may be seen to be very effective and leaves no side effects, this includes:
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which study shows may lighten pigmentation.
- Prepare a solution of apple cider vinegar and water in a container.
- Wash the affected area with lukewarm water and dry with clean towel.
- Rub on your dark patches and allow for about 2-3 minutes.
- Wash off using lukewarm water.
- Repeat twice daily to achieve your desired result.
Aloe vera contains aloin, a natural depigmenting agent that has been revealed to lighten skin and work effectually as a nontoxic hyperpigmentation treatment.
- Wash the affected area with soap and dry with clean towel.
- Apply pure aloe vera gel to affected area before bedtime.
- Wash off using warm water the next morning.
- Repeat this process daily until you get a better skin color.
Milk, buttermilk and even sour milk has been revealed by research to be a great remedy for hyperpigmentation. Lactic acid found in milk is the compound responsible for this skin correction.
- Soak a cotton ball in the milk.
- Rub it over the affected area (dark skin patches).
- Repeat this daily till you get a desired result
Orchid extracts has been found to be very effective in hyperpigmentation treatment. Applying orchid extracts to affected skin for about 8 weeks will give a better and improved skin.
Orchid extracts containing skin care products are commercially available in both online and offline stores, so do good to get one for yourself and use as directed for optimum result.
Tomato paste which is rich in lycopene helps to protect the skin from short-term and long-term photo damages caused by sunlight. By consuming tomato paste, it goes a long way to correct pigmentation patches on the skin.
Preventions of hyperpigmentation
Prevention they say is better than cure, so the following measures can be employed to prevent hyperpigmentation:
- using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30
- wearing hats or clothing that block sunlight
- Avoiding the sun during the time of the day when it’s strongest, which is usually 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hyperpigmentation isn’t in general harmful and usually isn’t an indication of a severe medical condition.
In several cases, dark patches will disappear on their own with good sun protection. In other cases, more aggressive treatment is required. There’s no assurance that the dark patches will fade totally, even with treatment.
You can always consider the following medical skin care products to correct both patches and entire body pigmentation: