Pigmentation on the Face

Ayurvedic treatment for pigmentation on the face

Nowadays, skin diseases are becoming quite common due to various environmental factors. For example, skin pigmentation and dark spots over the skin are severe problems seen in both genders, especially in females. This may be due to the variations in hormonal imbalance, continuous usage of cosmetic products like concealers, creams, or any other chemicals.

Any discoloration that is present on the skin can be termed pigmentation. This is completely harmless, which happens due to excess melanin production. When the excess melanin deposits in the skin, it results in hyperpigmentation.

What are the types of pigmentations?  

  1. Age spots – age spots are the most commonly seen pigmentation issue due to sun damage (caused due to frequent exposure to the sun).
  2. Melasma – melasma, also known as chloasma, is another type of hyperpigmentation characterized by spots over the face-covering a larger skin area. These usually result due to hormonal changes. For instance, during pregnancy, the hormone variations may trigger melanin production and cause skin darkening.
  3. Freckles (ephelides) – freckles appear as tiny dots and specks on the face and shoulder area. This also happens due to overexposure of skin to the sunlight.
  4. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation –

Due to various reasons like burns, psoriasis, acne lesions, skin friction, and often even by application of cosmetic products, skin can become hyperpigmented.

What causes hyperpigmentation?

  • UV rays remain the biggest culprit that triggers an overproduction of melanin. The damage caused due to these harmful UV radiations cannot be visible instantly. This takes some time to develop over the skin or exposed part.
  • any skin damage caused by injury (also known as post-inflammatory pigmentation)
  • hormonal variations during pregnancy
  • skin rashes
  • persistent infections to the skin (such as acne)
  • melasma occurs commonly in people those taking contraceptives or subjected to hormone replacement therapy.
  • hyperpigmentation can also be due to metabolic causes. However, the mainly noted complaints are deficiencies like vitamin b12 and folic acids.
  • intake of certain medicines for a long time can lead to the gradual development of pigments. E.g., anti-inflammatory drugs, cytotoxic drugs, antimalarial drugs, and psychotropic drugs.
  • if the skin is exposed continuously to chemicals like salicylic acid, bleomycin and cisplatin can lead to hyperpigmentation.
  • mercury poisoning is another listed cause that leads to hyperpigmentation. This can also occur due to cutaneous exposure from topical application of ointments that contains mercury.
  • due to fungal infections like tinea cruris, tinea corporis, and tinea versicolor, there is a high risk of developing hyperpigmentation.
  • any underlying medical conditions like celiac disease, dermatitis, eczema, medullary cystic kidney diseases, some malignant conditions also promote hyperpigmentation.
  • sometimes dermatological treatments done to the skin can lead to pigmentation over the skin. E.g., laser procedures.

What are the symptoms of hyperpigmentation?

Typically, hyperpigmentation occurs over the face;

  • Brown patches on the skin which are symmetrical
  • Generally, the patches appear on the forehead, chin, cheeks, and bridge of the nose. In addition, they may appear on the forearms and neck too;
  • Generally, the pigments appear after the inflammation or injury is healed.
  • Black or light brown colored lesions are also common in symptoms.
  • If exposed to moreover sunlight, these patches may turn darker.

Best ayurvedic treatment for pigmentation on the face

Melasma or hyperpigmentation in ayurveda is correlated to Vyanga. Vyanga is one of the Kshudraroga, mentioned in ayurveda, characterized by Niruja (painless) and Shavavarna Mandalas (bluish-black patches) on the face. It is a prevalent disease.

The herbs used to treat the condition have the characteristics like Varnya (which improves complexion) and Rakta Prasadaka (blood purifier). The primary ayurvedic medicine for hyperpigmentation includes herbs like Manjishta, aloe vera, licorice, Chandana, Lodhra etc. All these are natural herbs don’t have any side effects unless the skin is prone to allergy or hypersensitivity. These are safe and regular usage of these remedies can fetch beautiful results. But, if the itching or rashes are very severe with any other associated symptoms, medical intervention is required.

At Sitaram beach retreat, we prefer treatments depending on the severity of the condition. For example, hyperpigmentation ayurvedic treatment includes Pralepa, Abhyanga, Nasya, Raktamokshana, and Shamanoushadis.

Pralepa: Pralepa is the application of fresh herbal paste over the area of pigmentation. Then common herbs used are Manjishta, Yashtimadhu, Chandana, Lodhra, Haridra etc. The paste will be retained for 40 mins and then rinsed with normal water.

Abhyanga: massage using herbal oils that promote complexion and treating pigmentation is done. Kumkumadi tailam, Nalpamaradi tailam, Yashtimadhu tailam are common choices.

Nasya karma: instilling nasal drops in both nostrils is done to treat pigmentation over the face. The Nasya procedure helps to clear the doshas vitiated above the neck and head region. Depending upon the severity of the case, various oils are chosen.

Raktamokshana: in severe cases, a procedure called Raktamokshana is conducted. Here at the retreat, we use a technique called Siravyadha, which is a type of Raktamokshana. It is also known as bloodletting. The impure blood is allowed to ooze out, and the aggravated doshas also get drained along with the same.

The best choices for a melasma diet – have more fresh vegetables and fruits. You can also include whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, meats, fish, eggs, herbs, spices, etc. The food needs to be fresh and healthy. Citrus fruits rich in vitamin c are a good choice for reducing hyperpigmentation.