Hyperpigmentation is a common and harmless condition characterized by darker patches of skin. It can be caused by everything from overexposure to the sun to pregnancy, and unless there is an underlying cause, there is nothing to worry about. If hyperpigmentation occurs on exposed areas of your body, you may be wondering how to get rid of it. There are quite a few natural remedies for hyperpigmentation that you can try. Check them out below!
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is a condition in which patches of skin become darker than the surrounding natural skin tone. The extra melanin can create spots that look brown, black, gray, red, or pink and are usually harmless but can make people feel self-conscious. It can affect the skin color of people of any race, but it is more common in skin of color, since darker skin tones already have a higher melanin content. There are three main types of hyperpigmentation:
1. Age spots (also called liver spots): brown, tan or black spots
2. Melasmas: large patches of darkened skin
3. Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation: spots or patches of darkened skin
Each type of hyperpigmentation is commonly found on the face, but it can affect other areas of the body as well, and they all have different causes.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation can be caused by a number of things. Age spots are commonly found on the face and hands and appear on the skin due to overexposure to the sun. They can also be found on sun-exposed areas of the body and are usually found in older adults or people with prolonged sun exposure. Melasma, often called the mask of pregnancy, is typically found on the forehead, face, and stomach. It is usually caused by pregnancy or the birth control pill. Hyperpigmentation can also appear after an inflammatory skin condition, such as eczema or acne, which leaves spots or patches of darkened skin.
In some cases, hyperpigmentation may be a sign of an underlying condition, including hormonal imbalances, insulin resistance, direct trauma from an accident or cancer, or cancer-related treatments such as chemotherapy. Hyperpigmentation itself does not pose any risk to the body; however, if there is an underlying condition, it may require proper treatment.
4 signs and symptoms of hyperpigmentation
1. Patches of different shades that are darker than your natural skin tone
2. Discoloration after skin inflammation or injury
3. Discolored spots that darken after sun exposure
4. Raised dark spots that increase in size
When to see a doctor
Visit your dermatologist when you first notice hyperpigmentation so they can properly diagnose you and help you determine the causes of your hyperpigmentation. If the hyperpigmentation does not respond to any home remedies, see your doctor for alternative treatment. Treatment will depend on any underlying causes and may include laser resurfacing, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or cryotherapy. Other than dark spots, hyperpigmentation does not cause any other symptoms. See your doctor if you have skin patches with any other symptoms.
7 natural remedies for hyperpigmentation
1. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar Contains acetic acid, which can help lighten pigmentation, acting as a mild chemical peel in some cases. It also contains polyphenols, which act as antioxidants and can protect skin cells. Apply 1 part apple cider vinegar to 1 part water on the pigmented areas and leave it on for 2-3 minutes. Rinse the area well with lukewarm water and repeat twice a day. Stop this treatment at any sign of irritation.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera can help lighten pigmented skin over time. Contains aloin, a natural depigmenting compound that has been shown to lighten the skin and works effectively as a non-toxic hyperpigmentation treatment. Apply for pure aloe vera gel to affected areas before bed. Rinse with lukewarm water the next morning and repeat every day.
Wearing sunscreen every day is a must for everyone, but especially if you have hyperpigmentation. It is essential that you protect your skin from sun damage and increased pigmentation. Apply for sunscreen every morning, no matter if it’s sunny, rainy or cloudy. Reapply as needed throughout the day and make sure it’s SPF 30 or higher.
4. Vitamin C
Foods rich in vitamin C, such as grapefruit, lemon, and papaya, can be effective home remedies for hyperpigmentation. Applying them to the skin can help boost antioxidants on the surface and lighten cells over time. Combining vitamin C with other home remedies for hyperpigmentation has virtually no side effects and will likely increase its effectiveness.
5. Red onion
Red onion may be a useful skin bleaching agent for some people. Red onion isolates have been found to block cell action that leads to excess pigmentation. It is also antioxidant and is an excellent source of vitamin C. Cut a red onion, take a slice and rub it on the affected areas of your skin. Let the onion juice sit on your skin for 10 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water. You can also look for creams that contain Allium cepa.
6. Orchid Extract
Orchid extract has been found to be as effective as vitamin C as a remedy for hyperpigmentation. The magnesium within orchids helps to even out dark spots, reducing pigmentation and supporting skin cell regeneration. Use it for about 8 weeks to see results. You can find orchid extract in skin products like masks Y creams.
7. Yogurt or Milk
Yogurt and milk contain lactic acid, a common ingredient in chemical skin peels. Although it is found in small amounts in these foods, it can still help with mild hyperpigmentation. Apply yogurt to the pigmented area, or soak a cotton ball in milk and apply. Let sit for a few minutes, then rinse area well and apply moisturizer. Repeat the process twice a day.
If you’ve noticed hyperpigmentation on your skin, try these home remedies to see if they work for you.
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