Preventing Pigmentation Problems - by Editor

Why do we tan

Tanning is a way of protecting our skin from exposure to the sun. When the skin comes in contact with UV radiation, pigment-producings cell or melanocytes produce extra melanin, which is the pigment that gives us our colour, in order to absorb the nasty UV radiation and protect the inner cells from damage. So you can safely conclude that the quicker you tan, the less prone are you to getting skin cancer. If you burn easily and don't tan quickly, you should be more wary of the sun. But there are pros and cons to either side, and if you tan easily, you are also more prone to unsightly hyper-pigmentation (darkening of the skin).

What causes uneven pigmentation

When the skin is over-exposed to the sun to a great degree, melanocytes (pigment producing cells) may go into a panic, and produce excessive pigmentation. So what, you ask. All that this means is that I turn a darker shade. Yes, that is true, but the problem is, due to the panic, the nature of the cells may get altered, and you may find that they start producing more melanin permanently. Your tan just may become permanent. However, this is not where the problem lies, as many people would be happy to have a permanent tan. The problem is, not all cells react the same, so while some cells produce extra melanin or colour, others don't, which leads to pigment patches. To make matters worse, certain melanocytes may shut down due to excessive sun exposure, as they are unable to cope. The skin around this cell consequently turns white, and will never tan. (These white patches should not be confused with leucoderma.) This condition is known as hypo-pigmentation, and is even more severe than hyper-pigmentation, as the white skin patches are particularly prone to skin cancer due to their inability to tan.

Prevention

The sun is the skin's greatest enemy, and while a certain amount of sunlight is desirable, UV radiation is not. The sun quickens ageing of the skin and the formation of wrinkles, and causes age spots and freckles, in addition to skin cancer and pigmenation disorders.

Shield your body from the sun as far as possible to prevent discolouration. Wear full sleeves if you are going to be in strong sunlight, cotton, so you do not feel too hot. If you would rather wear short sleeves, make sure you apply adequate sunscreen not just on your face, but on your arms as well.

What is the cure

If you already have discolouration, you could visit a dermatologist who would be able to prescribe appropriate treatment. Mild chemical pigment peels are also available wherein the outer discoloured layer of the skin is peeled off. But unless your skin tone is starkly uneven, or if you have discolouration or patches on your face, I do not see the need for going in for this. Homeopathy medication has also been known to treat pigmentation, but while there are no guarantees, this medication is safe, has no side effects, and is worth a shot.

  • Drink at least ten glasses of water in a day. Drink two glasses of water in the morning when you wake up, before brushing your teeth.
  • Try applying lime (nimbu) to the discoloured area. Do this everyday, and wash off after 15 minutes. You could also apply lime to the affected area at night once in a while, and wash off in the morning when you bathe.
  • Bleaching the affected area once a month will lighten it too. Do not bleach when pregnant.
  • Various creams and lotions that claim to reduce pigmenation are also available. You could try them to see if they work for you.


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Comments on Article

Name: Honey
City:   Pasadena
Comments:   Good information.. I have some black patches on my forehands and these patches occured due to the Latex Hand Gloves, which I use for cleaning vessels... I don't think it's pigmentation...may be it's a sort of Allergy I believe.. Anyways, Clarify me that can we apply lemon juice to the affected area (I mean patches)....I am little bit scared to use that...Will that have any side affects.... Clarify
Name: Shakeera
City:   Hyderabad
Comments:   Iam shakeera from India. I have been suffering from severe pigmentation problem on my face( nose and cheeks) I have used almost all the products but in vain. Currently Ima undergoing Chemical Peels but that too does not give me good results. I read about your product while surfing the website and found it interesting. Could you please help me with more information about the Pigmentation treatment product and if you have "Testers" would you please mind sending it to meNULL
Name: az
City:   uk
Comments:   I have suffered from reallu bad black patches on my body. my body skin colour is white but i have big dark black patches. I want to get this cured can you suggest anything o me.
Name: NAVROOP BRAR
City:   jabalpur
Comments:   i'm 26,suffering from aftermarks of pimples,can you suggest me any method to smooth my skin?i too undergone chemical peels but of no use.
Name: kayle
City:   maxton
Comments:   my friend megan has pigmentation and she say she was born with it is there any way to get it offNULL.
Name: leela
City:   chennai
Comments:   Ur advice on pigmentation are very interesting. I have hyperpigmentation on both my sides of cheeks - it rather just above my cheeks and it is too obvious. I have tried everything what a skin specialist has told me but nothing really works. My face looks really bad and very very uneven. I am also dark complexioned. Pls. help me.
Name: monika sharma
City:   Delhi
Comments:   got pigmentation( light brown)on both cheeks & nose. Applying nimbu & honey from last one month but... suggest me some name of lotion b'coz i dont know any brand which lightens pigmenetation done the chemical peeling also but no use. they occurred last yr only. pl help me out. i hv got a v fair complexion theses marks make me embarrssing in front of other people.HELP ME OUT
Name: vijay
City:   Chennai
Comments:   I have got pigmentation marks all over my face.I have an oily skin.Could u give more tips to get rid of these marks
Name: gracy
City:   zambia
Comments:   i was very light at first but when i came to zambia my normal skin color disappeared instead i became dark.how can i get my normal skin colour back. please help and how do i also get rid of strach marks
Name: sana
City:   pk
Comments:   if any body ask you question you print it openly pls do not do this
Name: sobia
City:   pk
Comments:   pls remove all the e mails addresses from your comments page
Name: dolly
City:   new delhi
Comments:   i had a big red pimple on my left cheek on which i applied avon anti acne lotion as it suits my skin, but this time the pimple has left a blackish red mark or discolouration on my cheek. please help me as i am fair and want to get rid of this
Name: kruthi
City:   fort lauderdale
Comments:   honey, lemon juice will have no side effects.
Name: Nadine
City:   Antioch
Comments:   In response to your questions about pigmentation the best thing is to wash face at least two to three times per day with mild soap for example cetaphil and avoid sun exposure and drink lots and lots of water. Try to remove sugar and caffeine from diet and you should see results in at least a week.
Name: sharon
City:   england
Comments:   i was very interested to hear about using lemon juice or cuecumber i will give it ago thankyou 4 the advice
Name: rina sodha
City:   england
Comments:   plx could you help i went doctors and thay told me i have deep pigmention im really worried im fair as it is, but my skin is going white on my neck on my arms and legs plx could u e-mail asap thanks
Name: rs
City:   england
Comments:   why have u put it on the site where are the answers
Name: RS
City:   england
Comments:   HOW LONG DOES IT TK FOR ANSWER
Name: pauline
City:   pretoria
Comments:   can you please advice me of what to do to remove the strach marks in my body,are they removable and if what is the safest and chepest way to remove them your timeous response will be much apppreciated.
Name: frank d'souza
City:   Bahrain
Comments:   I have pigmentation on the nose. I had been to at least 3 dermatologists and they prescribed me skin ointments and also sunscreen sph24+ but no use. I am 65 years and am a diabetic for the past 30 years, but under control and I take Glucophage 0-1-1 and daonil 1-0-1 plus 84mg aspirin after lunch. One dermatologist said this is due to my diabetes, the other said it is sunburn and said this will take a long time and the ointment he prescribed I applied for 6 months without any relief. Now the 3rd dermatologist has asked me to apply Betnovate in the night which I am doing and am not going out. I find a little relief. What do you suggest this is due to and how should I go about it? Please advise. Thanks.-
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