By Dr. Sravya Chowdary Tipirneni, Consultant Dermatologist & Cosmetologist, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield
Indian skin is prone to hyperpigmentation which causes brown blotchy spots or excess tanning. Skin pigmentation is one of the biggest concerns for people who worry about their complexation. Uneven skin tone, sun spots, acne scars, melasma and dark circles can really affect people emotionally and mentally. Why are Indian’s are more susceptible to skin pigmentation? Excess melanin production is one of the foremost reasons for cosmetically distressing pigmentation.
Melanin is the natural pigment present in our hair, skin and eye which lends them colour. If melanin production is less, your skin tone gets lighter and skin becomes darker when the melanin production increases. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin produces more melanin leading to spots or patches and makes the skin area darker. While some types of hyperpigmentation occurring due to sun exposure affects face, arms and legs, others types can occur anywhere in the body. Hormonal changes can also increase the production of melanin in the body.
While there are many medical procedures that are advised for skin pigmentation problems, the aim of the treatment is to reduce the melanin content in the superficial layer of the skin or to create superficial exfoliation. This will help the top layer of the skin, which might have been damaged, to get rejuvenated with a lighter shade. Few simple remedies can also be tried at home to avoid skin pigmentation.
Here’s some super simple remedies that you can definitely try!
1.Milk: It contains lactic acid that are used in many facewashes and peeling agents. You can apply milk on the dark regions of the body using a cotton pad twice or thrice daily.
2. Aloe Vera gel: Aloin works to lighten spots and tan and this application can be easily left overnight.
3. Green tea extract: Yes! Cooled down tea bags can go directly on the patches and washed off after half an hour. This can be done daily till you see improvement.
4. Apple cider Vinegar (very diluted only!): Apply this only for a few minutes strictly and wash off followed by a licorice extract or kojic acid containing moisturizer. This combination works very well.
5. Potato juice: A lot of people love this and swear by it. You can apply this juice and leave it for a few hours or overnight either on the patches only or full face and neck.
6. Tomato juice: The Lycopene in this acts as an effective lightening agent and can show quick results if it is used immediately after you notice the tan.
There are a lot more medical reasons and conditions that may cause hyperpigmentation like:
Melasma, Chloasma (Mask of pregnancy), Addison’s disease, Chemotherapy drugs etc which might require additional medication or procedures to improve. It is advised to consult your Dermato-cosmetologist immediately for any kind of skin irritation, which commonly might occur after improper home remedies.
Do not apply toothpaste, garlic, lemon juice, baking soda on your face directly! They may cause bad scarring, brown spots or worsen the existing pigmentation. So start off with small quantities and don’t overdo anything. Wish you a glowing face and brighter, healthier skin!