Apart from airbrushed models, who really has flawless skin? Yet flawless skin we crave and for some the torment of a single spot can ruin a week. But pigmentation is more serious, disturbing even, especially when it appears without warning on top of other skin conditions such as acne or eczema – it can be one blemish too far.
There are five main causes and types.
Hyperpigmentation or melasma: This is where melanin production in the skin speeds up causing brown spots on the skin. Melasma is often seen in pregnant women though the spots mostly fade post-pregnancy though not always. It can also occur in women taking birth control pills or postmenopausal estrogen. Ayurvedic practitioners have suggested that this disorder could be caused by nutritional deficiencies also.
Hypopigmentation: Similarly, when melanin production slows down, lighter patches appear, as in the case of Michael Jackson. This is more commonly known as Vitiligo.
Heat: Too much heat can disturb the cells which produce melanin causing pigmentation to occur.
Injury: Injury can result in pigmentation occurring, especially if there is any inflammation.
Disease: Jaundice and Cyanosis can leave the skin with a yellow or blue tinge respectively. This is also pigmentation.
Medication: skin pigmentation caused by certain medicines is quite common and is said to account for 10-20% of all cases of acquired hyperpigmentation. The main medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs antipsychotic drugs,(NSAIDs), phenytoin, antimalarials, amiodarone, cytotoxic drugs, tetracyclines, and heavy metals.
Here are some of the best home remedies found on the internet which may or may not help with fading or getting rid of facial pigmentation.
Aloe Vera: Rub directly onto the pigmentation some aloe vera from the plant or some gel. Leave it for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash it off with warm water. Aloe vera contains mucilaginous polysaccharides that can effectively lighten dark spots.
Potato: try rubbing a slice of potato on your skin every day.
Lemon/Lime honey: lemon is a natural bleach and organic honey contains moisturizing properties, mix these together:
- Slice a lemon and squeeze out juice
- Mix lemon juice with 2 teaspoons of honey
- Apply this on the face.
- DO NOT TRY THIS IF YOU HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN.
Lemon Juice and Turmeric Powder:
- Mix 1 tbsp of turmeric with lemon juice
- Apply this on the affected areas and leave for 15 minutes.
- Wash off with cold water.
Apparently you should use this at night for best results and never use it after being in the sun.
Red Onion: Apparently this is one of the best home remedies to get rid of all pigmentation and it’s very simple: slice up some red onion and rub it on your face. Leave for 10 minutes and wash off. Be prepared to lose a few friends after this one!
Apple cider vinegar is supposed to be brilliant for reducing the appearance of dark patches due to hyperpigmentation thanks to its astringent properties which can help restore your skin’s natural colour.
- Mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar with water. Rinse the affected area. Leave it on for three minutes, and rinse off. So this twice a day for two week. Or you can drink it. Two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in half a glass of warm water. Add some honey. Drink twice a day for a couple of weeks and you should notice an improvement after a while.
Check out this video for some more tips.
photo credit: Medscape