We often confuse the term pigmentation with acne scars, pimple marks etc. But what exactly is pigmentation? Melanin is a pigment present in the skin and is responsible for giving colour to the skin. In case of hyperpigmentation, due to overproduction of melanin, the skin appears darker than the usual skin tone. It may either affect the face or the entire body in general. Though hyperpigmentation is a harmless problem, sometimes it can be due to an underlying medical condition which needs to be treated professionally. But there are simple home remedies that you can try to keep your skin nourished and looked after. Before looking at the remedies, let us have a look at the common causes.
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Causes Of Skin Pigmentation
When the sun's UV rays hit the skin, as a defense mechanism the skin starts producing more melanin. This extra melanin causes the skin to get tanned. However due to prolonged or excessive sun exposure, sun spots are often developed over the skin. These spots are not cancerous but can lead to other precancerous blemishes which look very similar.
Acne, pimples, bug bites, excessive scratching can cause inflammation of the skin. Inflammation sends signal to the pigment producing cells which can leave behind spots, even after the injury has healed or inflammation has subsided.
Large patches of brown spots are formed in women during the pregnancy. These patches are due to a combination of reasons like sun exposure, genetics, and hormonal changes.
Hyperpigmentation can be caused due to underlying medical conditions. Certain drugs including antibiotics have an adverse impact on the skin causing pigmentation on the skin. Chemotherapy medications too lead to pigmentation of the skin.
Now that we are aware of the causes of pigmentation, let us have a look at the ways to look after our skin with home remedies.
How To Tackle Skin Pigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is more of a cosmetic concern rather than a medical condition. There are a number of home remedies which can help in lightening the dark patches.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which is used to lighten pigments from the skin. Apply the vinegar with water on the affected area and keep it for 2 to 3 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
Many of the skincare products available in the markets which claim to lighten the scars and pigments have red onion as the most common ingredient. Red onions effectively lighten even the skin tones, so they are present in the skin brightening creams too.
Milk contains lactic acid which leads to skin lightening. Milk, buttermilk and even sour milk can effectively lighten skin pigments. Apply milk with cotton balls over the affected area. Repeat it twice daily for better results.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene that protects the skin from photo-damaging. The long-term effects of photo-damaged skin are reversed by applying tomato paste to it.
This all-time favourite beauty ingredient contains aloin which is a natural de-pigmentation compound and works in lightening the skin.
Though we have covered some easy home remedies to treat your pigmentations, we always advice you to visit the dermatologist before using them.