The past 80 odd years have given rise to a…
Jennifer K. Noticed her first discoloration patch when she was five years old. It was on her knee, but she was not overly concerned, assuming it might be the result of some kind of injury. However, she soon began to notice more patches, with one appearing on her ankle bone and another on her upper back. The last straw for Jennifer was when, as a teenager, she found the spots had begun to migrate to her face, eventually resulting in what she called “raccoon eyes.” Traumatized, she tried using everything from make -up to tanning sprays, but nothing blended well and she ended up looking worse than if she had just left them alone. Melanin is the pigment responsible for giving skin its color. When the cells that produce melanin are damaged, melanin production can get thrown off, resulting in disorders which affect skin color. Too much melanin darkens the skin. Darkened skin can be caused by pregnancy, exposure to the sun and Addison’s disease. Too little melanin results in the lightening of the skin and are often caused by a condition called Vitiligo. Albinism is a result of a genetic disorder which causes no color, extremely light skin color, or patches with absence of skin color. Lighter skin can also be caused by burns, infections and blisters.
Over The Counter Creams
Because hyperpigmentation can have many causes, it is important to consult a dermatologist before using any OTC creams on your skin.
- Skin Lightening Cream– These inhibit melanin production in the skin. The best bets contain soy milk, hydroquinone, cucumber, azelaic acid, arbutin, Kojic acid and calcium.
- A Topical Cream With Alpha -Hydroxy acids of Retin A
For all you goddesses of nature who want to avoid harsh chemicals while fighting hyperpigmentation, here are some earthier options.
- Aloe Vera Juice– Extract aloe vera gel form and aloe leaf and place in a bottle in your fridge. Once chilled, dab it on the affected area and leave on for 20 minutes. It will help to exfoliate the skin and generate new skin cells. For increased effectiveness, break open a vitamin E capsule and add it to the aloe.
- Tomato, Yogurt And Oatmeal Did you know that tomato and yogurt both have natural bleaching properties? Also, yogurt is a skin tightener and oatmeal is a scrubber. It’s like breakfast on your face! Add 2 tsp of oatmeal and 1/2 tsp of yogurt with tomato juice. Apply it to the affected skin and leave on for 20 minutes. Resist eating.
- Potatoes– Just rub a fresh slice on the discoloration patch every day.
- Lemon Juice And Honey-Lemon is another natural bleach. No wonder it makes the blond in your hair stand out. Honey, on the other hand, is a moisturizer. Mix organic honey balanced with lemon juice and apply to skin. Be warned though, if you have sensitive skin, the lemon may be too acidic for you, and you would be best advised to choose an alternative treatment.
- Cucumber Juice– Cucumber juice is an ingredient often found in OTC remedies for hyperpigmentation. It is also effective for lightening spots and blemishes. It can be applied alone or combined with honey and lemon juice. It should be left on the affected area for 30 minutes and then washed off.
- If your pigmentation patches are a result of hormone changes during pregnancy or while taking contraceptive pills, the condition cannot be treated. Unfortunately, you must wait it out. It will end on its own accord.
- PIH- Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation is caused by psoriasis, burns, acne, certain skin treatments (like laser and Microdermabrasion) and injury. These also heal on their own, with the regeneration of skin.