Skin pigmentation, also known as hyperpigmentation is a disorder that affects the colour of your skin. Not only your face, it can happen on any part of the body. Sometimes women resort to make-up to hide skin patches but is it really helpful in the long run? Dr Anup Dhir, skin and hair care specialist of Apollo Hospital, Indraprastha and Dr Sakshi Srivastava, consultant dermatologist of Jaypee Hospital, Noida list out some of the main causes, treatments and home remedies of the skin disorder.
Your skin gets its colour from a pigment called melanin, which is made by special cells in the skin. When these cells get damaged or become unhealthy, it affects the production of melanin.
According to Dr Dhir, if your body produces too much melanin, it creates dark patches on the skin. Addison’s disease and exposure to the sun are some of the reasons for darker skin. They appear mainly on body parts that are frequently exposed, such as the face, hands and arms.
On the other hand, when melanin is overproduced, it creates lighter patches on your skin. Vitiligo is a condition in which the skin loses its pigment cells called melanocytes that can cause light skin. Skin pigmentation can also be genetic, which is then referred to as albinism. A person affected with albinism may have lighter than the normal skin colour or patches of light skin colour.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy or during menopause makes our body sensitive which can also lead to skin pigmentation, says Dr Srivastava. Having medicines or pills, applying creams and other cosmetics that are not suitable for our skin type can also cause this disorder.
Treatments and home remedies
Dr Dhir recommends skin lightening creams, “these work by slowing down melanin production and removing existing melanin from the skin. You can also try a topical treatment that contains Retin-A or alpha-hydroxy acids.” He further recommends few home remedies:
*Raw Potato: Wash a potato and cut it into half. Rub the potato onto the affected areas of your face in a circular motion. Repeat this twice daily.
*Lemon Juice and Turmeric Powder: Take a bowl and mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with one tablespoon of turmeric powder. Apply this mixture on the affected areas and leave for 15-20 minutes. Wash with lukewarm water.
*Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with two tablespoons of water. Apply this mixture on the patches. Repeat this twice daily.
*Red Onion: You can squeeze out the onion juice and apply it to the affected areas of your skin.
Dr Srivastava, on the other hand, recommends laser treatment. She also suggests PRP therapy or Platelet-rich plasma therapy, where people get injections in order to remove the damaged skin cells.