Pigmentation

What is Skin Pigmentation?

Your skin color is determined by pigments called melanin that are produced by specialized cells (melanocytes) of the skin. There are more than 150 genes that affect skin color either directly or indirectly. So there is really nothing much you can do about the natural pigmentation of your skin.
What Causes Skin Pigmentation Disorders?

Sometimes, the melanin production goes awry; either too little or too much melanin is produced causing skin pigmentation disorders. These conditions make the skin appear lighter or darker than normal, or blotchy and discolored. Too much melanin causes hyperpigmentation and too little melanin results in hypopigmentation.
The root cause is generally attributed to internal factors such as hormones, endothelial cells, or biological conditions such as pregnancy. External factors such as ultraviolet radiation, burning, or contact with certain chemicals may sometimes cause pigmentation disorders. Stress and dietary imbalances, the precursors of many disorders, are also known to cause skin pigmentation disorders.

What happens is, melanin is formed by a series of oxidative reactions that involve the amino acid tyrosine in the presence of the enzyme tyrosinase. So, inhibiting / regulating the action of tyrosinase can halt / alter melanin production.

Most depigmenting agents thus target this enzyme. However, these agents can cause cancer and ochronosis (bluish-black discoloration of tissues) in some people. Under such circumstances, using home remedies to treat common pigmentation disorders makes sense.

Here are some of the common skin pigmentation disorders and their home remedies. These home remedies for skin pigmentation take some time to show results. Depending upon the condition, it may take anywhere from a week to 6 months of daily treatment.
Skin Pigmentation Disorders and Their Home Remedies

Melasma

This is a skin pigmentation disorder that appears on the face in the form of tan or brown patches, especially the forehead, cheeks, upper lip, nose, and chin. Melasma is typically seen in pregnant women. The spots generally fade after pregnancy, but sometimes they just don’t go away. It may also occur in women on birth control pills or postmenopausal estrogen. Well, men too can get melasma sometimes. Some Ayurvedic practitioners believe that this disorder can also be caused by nutritional deficiencies, so that can explain why men too might get melasma.

Home Remedies for Melasma:

  • Orange Paste:Grate the skin of an orange and make a paste / gel with few teaspoons of milk. Leave it on for half an hour and then massage gently and wash it off with warm water. Exfoliate your face at least 3 to 4 times a week with this paste.
  • Exfoliation encourages cell renewal and removes the dark blotches.
  • Aloe Vera Juice to Lighten Dark Spots:Gently apply aloe vera juice or gel on the affected area and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash it off with warm water. Aloe vera contains mucilaginous polysaccharides that can effectively lighten dark spots.