Home Remedies for Pigmentation, Dark Skin

Skin pigmentation is referred to as change in the color of skin, both lightening and darkening, due to various external and internal factors. The skin color is attributed to various pigments like melanin and carotene.

The cells of our skin contain a substance known as melanocytes, which produce melanin. It is the presence of melanin that gives the skin its color. A lack of melanin or low levels of it can cause your skin to appear pale, which is known as hypopigmentation. However, in case there is a high amount of melanin present in the skin, the skin gets a darker color, which is known as hyperpigmentation. Another factor that could cause your skin to darken faster than normal is overactive melanocytes. In case your skin begins to get dark because of hyperpigmentation, the discoloration usually begins at the knuckles, elbows as well as the knees and spreads to the other parts of the body from there. At times, you may also see bronze or darkened patches on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. The degree of discoloration could vary from person to person, based on the underlying causes.

Pigmentation of the skin causes are primarily over exposure to sunlight and heat, allergies, medication and hereditary factors. The darkening of the skin may not necessarily be permanent at times. There are several conditions that could cause your skin to get darker for a certain period. For example, most women see changes in the tone of their skin during the course of pregnancy. However, after childbirth, the color of the skin usually returns to normal. Similarly, darkening of the skin because of hormonal imbalances or other short term conditions is also temporary. The color of the skin returns to normal once the condition is resolved.

Fortunately, dark skin is not usually a symptom of a life-threatening health problem. However, in case there are other accompanying symptoms like fatigue, weakness, spells of depression or loss of appetite in addition to hyperpigmentation, it could be an indication of an underlying health condition that requires immediate medical attention. Once you’ve ruled out any possible health concerns, you can always opt for any of the home remedies given below to relieve skin pigmentation.

  • Mix one teaspoon of milk powder, a teaspoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of honey and half a teaspoon of almond oil, to make a thick paste. Apply this on to the skin and keep it on for around 15 to 20 minutes, before rinsing it off with cold water. This not only helps reduce the effects of tanning and skin blemishes, but also gives your skin a natural radiance
  • Add some plain oatmeal to unflavored yogurt and apply the mixture on to the affected skin. After around 20 minutes, wash the mixture off your skin with cold water. Some tomato juice could also be added to this mixture to increase its effectiveness
  • Potato has natural bleaching properties, which is why it is excellent for lightening patches and blemishes as well as darkened skin. Cut a potato into thin slices and place them on the affected area for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Take a bowl of plain, unflavored yogurt and add a few grated dry orange peels to it. This paste is very effective in getting rid of a tan and should be kept on to the skin for at least 15 minutes, after application.
  • Mint works wonders in lightening the skin tone and therefore, the paste of freshly ground mint leaves should be applied on to the skin for around 15 to 20 minutes, before being rinsed off. 
  • Apply vinegar diluted in equal quantity of water. Vinegar is chemically acetic acid, which is capable of lightening and brightening the skin. It is a toner that is recommended to be used for pigmentation treatment.
  • Another useful home remedy for skin pigmentation treatment is to apply onion juice on your skin. You can extract the juice of onion by sieving blended onion in cheese cloth. Mix the onion extract in apple cider vinegar and apply it on your skin to relieve skin pigmentation problems. Alternatively, you can dip onion slice in vinegar and apply on the affected area.
  • Lemon juice also helps in pigmentation removal by reviving the skin.
  • Another treatment for pigmentation of the skin is to apply raw potato extract. You can grate potato and apply it on skin to lighten your skin color.
  • One of the pigmentation removal home remedies is to apply mashed strawberry on your face for 15 minutes and then wash it off.
  • An effective remedy to cure pigmentation of the skin during pregnancy is to apply a paste of gram flour, turmeric powder, cream, and lemon juice. You may also add rose water to the blend for better result.
  • You can also apply a paste of dry orange peel powder and milk for 20 minutes and then wash it off. It will help cleanse and lighten your skin.
  • Another effective remedy to cure skin pigmentation is to apply a blend of lemon juice and cucumber juice.
  • Application of a paste of green papaya also helps cure skin pigmentation. It contains an enzyme papain, which exfoliates and cleanses the skin, thereby relieving skin pigmentation.
  • Application of a pack of ground almonds soaked in water and milk or cream also helps relieve skin pigmentation.
In addition to the remedies for dark skin mentioned above, you also need to get an adequate amount of sleep, rest and exercise a day, as they all play an important role in keeping your skin healthy. Unhealthy practices like smoking and the use of illegal drugs should be strictly avoided.

If you wish to have healthy and glowing skin your first concern should be your fluid intake, as you need to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. This will flush out the toxins from your body and at the same time will hydrate your skin internally, keeping it soft and supple. This reduces the possibility of discoloration, but does not rule it out completely. 

Do not over-expose your skin to the sun as this leads to secretion of melanin. While you go out in sun, apply sunscreen and cover your skin and face with a scarf or wear a hat.

Keep your skin clean at all times. A cleansed, toned, and moisturized skin is less likely to develop problems.

Avoid eating any foods that are heavy, oily or spicy. These foods are difficult to digest and therefore build up the waste in the body, leading to many health problems that can also affect the skin. If you are trying to improve your skin tone, it is important to stay away from chocolates, caffeinated, aerated and alcoholic drinks.

Instead, increase your consumption of foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients as they improve the health of your body, as well as your skin. Make sure that you eat a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meat, dairy products, nuts, seeds, whole grains, cereals, beans and legumes.
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