Skin pigmentation

An Overview

Skin pigmentation is the color of your skin due to a certain amount of melanin, a natural pigment that gives your skin, hair, and eyes their unique color. Your skin could become darker or lighter due to changes in your body’s production of melanin. A variety of factors could cause this, from the genes you’re born with to skin damage from acne or sun exposure. Learn more about what could trigger shifts in skin pigmentation, the role of genetics in skin color, different types of discoloration, and how to treat them.

Hyper pigmentation

Hyper pigmentation causes skin to become darker or different in color due to an abnormally high amount of melanin or other pigments in the skin.
Hyper pigmentation can be caused by:
• Birthmarks
• Age spots
• Acne scars
• Pregnancy (during which melasma, or tan, brown, or gray patches can appear on the face)
• Addison’s disease (a rare disorder which causes decreased function of the adrenal gland and dark patches of skin)

Hypo pigmentation

Skin with hypo pigmentation is lighter in color due to an abnormally low amount of melanin.
Reasons for hypo pigmentation include:
• Past skin injuries due to burns, blisters, ulcers, chemical exposure, or infection
• Inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema (atopic dermatitis)

De pigmentation

De pigmentation occurs when your skin completely loses pigment and turns white. One common cause of depigmentation is vitiligo, an autoimmune condition that causes smooth, white patches to appear on the skin.

Home remedies for Pigmentation

1. Lemon:

Lemon is considered one of the effective home remedies for skin pigmentation. Lemon is a potent bleaching agent and has skin lightening properties. It is used in many skin lightening formulations, such as Luce derm, Meladerm, and Skin Bright. However, lemon juice can irritate sensitive skin, so do a patch test on your arm before using it.

2. Red Onion:

Red onion is often used in scar lightening creams. A study done on mushroom tyrosinase found that the skin of red onion contains ingredients with potential for skin-whitening cosmetics.

3. Milk:

Milk contains lactic acid, which is used in chemical peels to brighten and whiten skin. It has also been found that lactic acid could be used to treat melasma.

4. Hot Swimwear by Honey Birdette:

Apply fresh milk with a cotton swab on the affected area and let it dry. Wash it off with lukewarm water. Do this twice daily.

5. Apple cider vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which researchTrusted Source shows may lighten pigmentation.
To use this remedy:
1. Combine equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a container.
2. Apply to your dark patches and leave on two to three minutes.
3. Rinse using lukewarm water.
4. Repeat twice daily you achieve the results you desire.

6. Aloe Vera:

Aloe vera contains aloin, a natural depigmenting compound that has been shown to lighten skin and work effectively as a nontoxic hyperpigmentation treatment, according to a 2012 study.
To use:
1. Apply pure aloe vera gel to pigmented areas before bedtime.
2. Rinse using warm water the next morning.
3. Repeat daily until your skin color improves.

7. Red onion:

Red onion (Allium cepa) extract is an ingredient in some commercially available skin- and scar-lightening creams. Research has found that the dried skin of red onions can effectively lighten skin. Look for creams for hyperpigmentation that contain Allium cepa and use as directed.

8. Green tea extract:

Green tea extract may have a depigmenting effect when applied to skin. You can purchase green tea extract and apply it as directed. Some websites suggest applying green tea bags to dark spots for a lightening effect, though there is no evidence to back this claim.
If you’d like to give it a try, follow these steps:
1. Steep a green tea bag in boiled water for three to five minutes.
2. Remove the tea bag from the water and let cool — you don’t want to burn your skin.
3. Rub the tea bag over your dark patches.
4. Repeat twice a day until you get results.

9. Black tea water:

Black tea water lightened dark spots on guinea pigs. The black tea water was applied twice a day, six days a week for four weeks.
To try your own version of this hyperpigmentation treatment at home:
1. Add a tablespoon of fresh black tea leaves to a cup of boiling distilled water.
2. Steep for two hours and strain to remove the leaves.
3. Soak a cotton ball in the tea water and apply to areas of hyperpigmentation, twice a day.
4. Repeat every day for six days a week, over four weeks.

10. Licorice extract:

Licorice extract contains active ingredients that have been shown to lighten hyperpigmentation caused by melasma and sun exposure. Topical creams containing licorice extract are available over the counter. Use as directed on the packaging.

11. Milk:

Milk, buttermilk, and even sour milk have all been shown to effectively lighten skin discoloration. Lactic acid is the ingredient responsible for this effect.
To use any of these to treat pigmentation:
• Soak a cotton ball in the milk.
• Rub it over darkened skin patches twice a day.
• Repeat daily until you see results.

12. Tomato paste:

A study published in that tomato paste rich in lycopene protected the skin against short-term and long-term aspects of photo damage. Study participants consumed 55 grams of tomato paste in olive oil daily for 12 weeks.

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