Skin pigmentation is a disorder that causes the skin to appear either lighter (Hypopigmentation) or darker (Hyperpigmentation) than the existing skin colour. Sometimes, skin pigmentation may even appear as blotchy and discoloured.
Our skin contains Melanocytes which produce a pigment called Melanin. This regulates the colour of our skin, hair and eye. Melanin works as an absorbent filter of UV rays that prevents the sunlight to penetrate further in the skin. Excess of exposure to harmful sun rays can lead to sun-induced skin cancer and melanin can work wonder to prevent it. The white skin is 70% more prone to sun induced skin cancer than black or dark skin. The reason being the high Melanin content in black skin. The excess or minimalism of Melanin is the main reason in the causes of Pigmentation.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is defined by the excessive darkening in any part of the skin; mostly face, neck and hands than the usual skin colour. The prime reason being over-production of melanin in that particular area.
Types of hyperpigmentation include –
- Photo Melanosis
What is Hypopigmentation?
Hypopigmentation happens when Melanin production in the skin is reduced or limited than the usual. Lack of melanin leads to discoloured skin. Hypopigmentation can be associated different skin diseases like Vitiligo and Albinism.
Causes of Pigmentation:
Pigmentation is caused due to overexposure to sun, heredity, genetics, hormonal changes, stress and overuse of cosmetics. In some cases, it can be caused due to certain medication like antibiotics, hormone treatment, anti-seizure drugs and frequent use of hair dyes. Excessive exposure to sunlight has also been the culprits in certain cases
Vitiligo is a skin disease where immune system attacks the melanin resulting in loss of production. Due to less melanin white smooth patches appear on face, neck or any part of the body.
Prevention of Skin Pigmentation:
It’s not really possible to completely get rid of Hyperpigmentation or Hypopigmentation with home remedies which do not penetrate the skin enough to cause any effect. These preventive measures are just to protect your skin from causing skin pigmentation. In case of Hypopigmentation some skin diseases are hereditary, and these are non-curable.
Here are some home remedies for hyperpigmentation. These reduce the darkening to some extent over a very long period of time and you need to pay dedicated attention to your skincare regime.
- Wear Sunscreen wisely: Production level in melanin is also affected by over exposure to sunlight. Use a sunscreen with min-40+ (UVA & UVB protected) according to your skin type. Check for the Zinc Oxide in the label you buy as it works as a barrier to sunlight.
- Drink enough water: Drink a minimum of 10-12 glasses of water daily. It’s important to drink water empty stomach as soon as you wake up in the morning.
- Orange Paste: Make a paste of orange peel and mix with 2 tbsp of water and apply on the dark spots.
- Aloe Vera pulp: Say no to readymade aloe vera gel. Bring an aloe vera plant and scoop the pulp and apply raw or mixed with honey on the dark spots.
- Triphala: Drinking Triphala juice also helps to reduce dark pigmentation.
- Foods you should avoid: Avoid anything that is sour e.g. sour fruit juices as the high acidic level shifts the PH balance which results in decreased melanin products. Also avoid seafood as some of these have mercury contents. Chose more alkaline based food.
- Turmeric & Mustard oil: Make a paste with 5 tbsp turmeric powder with 250 ml of mustard oil. Apply twice daily on the affected area. You can also use fresh turmeric instead of readymade powder.
Skin Care & Topical Medication:
With a customized skin care regimen, you can minimize the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
Wearing a sunscreen is a must. The sunscreen must be “broad spectrum” (i.e. it blocks both UVA and UVB). Sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are also helpful. A single day of excess sun can undo months of treatment.
In addition to using sunscreen, there are key ingredients to look for in skincare products that can help treat hyperpigmentation such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic and lactic acid; Kojic Acid (found in the Whitening Mask) and Vitamin C (the Vitamin C Serum)
Effective Skin Treatments for Pigmentation at Define:
This involves application of a medicated gel solution for reducing the pigmentation from the face. They remove debris from outer layer of skin. Peels accelerate the exfoliation process of skin by increasing production of new cells.
- Regenerate collagen formation in skin
- Reduction in pigmentation
- Reduction in blemishes
- Reduction in melasma.
The signals of this technology synch with body’s endogenous signals and boost the cell’s ability to repair & regenerate. The treatment helps improve oxygenation and blood circulation to skin cells. The result is rejuvenation of skin with detoxification and reduction in Pigmentation.
- Reduced pigmentation
- Reduction in dark circles
- Reduction in melasma
- Improved skin texture