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Pigmentation of the skin is a medical term to refer to the phenomenon of colouring. Our skin is made up of cells that produce a pigment known as melanin. The colour of the skin largely depends upon the production of melanin. If more melanin is produced, the skin looks darker and vice-versa. When the melanin producing cells are damaged due to long exposure to sunlight, pregnancy or any other disease, pigmentation of the skin takes place. When the skin gets darker, it is called hyperpigmentation and when the discolouration of the skin takes place or white patches are formed on the skin, it is called hypopigmentation.
Skin pigmentation can be tackled by certain home based remedies. Here are some of these remedies:
- Milk and honey face pack: Milk is known to contain lactic acid. A mixture of milk and honey peels off the affected part of the skin. This makes the hyper-pigmented skin lighter in colour.
- Vegetable juices: Some vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber and potato are effective in getting rid of the skin pigments. Cut slices of these vegetables and rub them over the affected parts. The juices from these vegetables lighten the pigmented part.
- Avocado magic: It is advisable to peel off an avocado and apply its juice with honey over the affected area.
- Add Vitamin E to your diet: Include foods rich in vitamin E in your meals. It helps in restoring the pigmented skin back to its normal form.
- Face Mask: There are several face masks available that can work wonder in curing pigmentation of the skin. You can use face packs containing oatmeal, honey, sandalwood, turmeric powder, raw milk, and orange powder.
- Sun screen: It is important to guard your skin from the ultraviolet rays. UV rays lead to pigmentation of the skin. So, apply a sunscreen lotion or cream before stepping out of your home.
- Take up some exercise: A key to a healthy skin is a good lifestyle. One must exercise regularly to maintain proper blood circulation throughout the body. Proper flow of blood keeps the skin healthy and free from pigmentation.
- Avoid consumption of alcohol and cigarettes: The consumption of alcohol and cigarettes leads to generation of toxins in our blood stream. This is harmful for our skin.
- Cocoa butter: It has nourishing and de-tanning effects on the skin. Use a cream that contains cocoa butter extracts on daily basis.
- Oil massage: Certain oils like olive and almond are good for treating damaged skin.
Below given are some of the common products used in medical treatment of hyperpigmentation:
- IPL (Photofacial) - Treatment with intense pulsed light, or a Photofacial, is frequently recommended by doctors to treat hyperpigmentation.
- Chemical peel - A TCA peel or deeper phenol peel are also used to treat hyperpigmentation.
- Laser Peel - A variety of laser resurfacing treatments may be performed to reduce hyperpigmentation. CO2 lasers and fractional lasers are popular choices for skin resurfacing.
- Topical skin lightening products - Products containing skin lightening ingredients, such as hydroquinone, retinoids, kojic acid, and Vitamin C are often used to reduce hyperpigmentation.
Medical treatment is combined with procedures to get faster results.
1. Chemical peels: This method involves the application of a chemical peel on the skin. The acid in it removes the superficial skin layer to improve the appearance of the scar. This works well on lighter scars, and a licensed medical practitioner, nurse or cosmetologist can do this procedure.
2. Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion: This technique involves using a high speed brush on the skin to polish the portion of the scar and make that part of the skin even, so that the scar looks lighter. If your skin doctor feels that you don't need serious dermabrasion, then he may use a microdermabrasion where small crystals are sprayed onto the skin surface to remove the skin cells over the scar and improve appearance.
3. Fillers: Fillers are used on the skin which gets depressed due to the acne or scars. There are some binding materials like collagen or Hyaluronic acid, which can be injected through an injection, and this keeps the skin smooth, scar free and elevated for some time after which the injection has to be repeated. This has to be a continuous treatment until your skin starts to appear normal again.
4. Retinoid creams: The retinoid creams are especially beneficial on scars if applied patiently for a prolonged period. These creams come with little side effects like burning, drying or peeling of the skin, but over a medium to long term application, all scars do get removed.
5. Laser treatment: A combination of a few types of laser treatments or just one type depending on the acne stage or redness is used. This smoothens the skin and removes the acne scars by removing skin cells from the area.
6. Punch Excisions and Skin grafting: This is a surgical technique. The acne scar can be removed by cutting a portion of the skin, and removing it. Normally, this procedure is combined with skin grafting, where the hole created by the acne is filled up either through stitches, or through grafting of the skin. This is actually the most invasive process to remove scars and only done when you have a serious, permanent and stubborn scar which can't be effectively removed by other techniques.
But don't lose hope. There's nothing to get disheartened. Every problem has a solution to it. You may get back your flawless and healthy skin, if you follow certain simple tips. A little care and attention at home can bring back the lost beauty. Here are certain home-based remedies to get rid of the breakouts:
1. Neem relief: Acne vanishes with the application of neem paste on the affected areas. Take few neem leaves and grind them to make a smooth paste. Mix multani mitti or fuller's earth, turmeric powder and milk with the paste. Apply this face pack for over 10 minutes on your face and later rinse it off with water. After the pack is washed away, you are left with a soft and clean skin.
2. Steam therapy: Our skin has multiple pores. These pores get clogged due to excess oil secretion during the monsoons. Dust particles and oily secretions leads to the clogging of these pores. This in turn leads to skin breakouts. If you steam your face religiously, these pores open and help you to get rid of the pimples.
3. Sugar-honey pack: Take three teaspoons of brown sugar with one spoon of honey. Make a gentle face pack with this mixture. Put the face pack on your face for over 15 minutes and wash it off with water.
4. Potato help: Not known to many, potatoes can be of great help for the acne victims. Cut thin slices of potatoes. Rub these potato slices over your face.
5. Check your diet: Too much consumption of foods rich in fat can act as triggers for acne. Include green and leafy vegetables and fruits in your diet for sufficient intake of necessary vitamins and minerals.
6) Wash your face and areas affected with acne: Exposure to dust and dirt leads to several skin diseases and acne is no exception. Thus it is important to wash you face and affected areas with water frequently. The moment you return home after staying long hours outdoors, don't hesitate to wash your face immediately. Washing of face is highly recommended even before going off to bed at night.
7) Drink water: It is always advisable to drink plenty of water to keep your skin healthy.
Following the above mentioned steps to get a flawless and radiant looking skin.