Dark spots or uneven skin tone on your face could be a sign of skin pigmentation.
Skin pigmentation across the globe ranges from 1% in the general population to 9% to 50% in the risk population. Pregnancy, sun exposure, and darker skin phenotypes are risk factors for developing pigmented skin.1
Skin pigmentation or hyperpigmentation, is when some part of your skin gets darker than others. It’s a fairly common condition that affects all skin types. It can appear in smaller patches or larger areas and, in rare cases, affect the entire body.
Your skin color is defined by a pigment called melanin. Excess production of this pigment due to various factors creates darker patches on your skin. Although these patches do not cause severe health issues, they affect your aesthetic image and are of great cosmetic concern.
There are several chemical treatments available, but the results are pretty temporary. However, homeopathy has been one of the time-tested medications for skin complaints for decades.
Role of Homeopathy in Facial Pigmentation
Homeopathic medicines act deeper on your skin to reduce melanin production. Thus, it improves your skin tone and ultimately stops the formation of new skin patches. It also treats underlying skin ailments. Thus, it prevents the recurrence of facial pigmentation.
External applications are not used in homeopathic treatment, unlike other modes of therapy. A detailed case study is taken, including your past history, current physical state, and psychological analysis. After this, a medicine is selected to treat your skin pigmentation that is specific to you.
Homeopathic medicines are derived from natural elements with no side effects or allergic skin reactions. The best part is the effects of homeopathic medications are permanent.
Top five homeopathic medicines for facial pigmentation
Sepia officinalis (Sep.)
Common name: Inky juice of cuttlefish
Sepia officinalis is the best homeopathic medicine for facial pigmentation. It is indicated for pigmentation on cheeks, forehead, and nose. Often, the pigmentation color varies from brown, yellow, or black.
Sepia is suited for those with rough and hard skin. This remedy cures facial pigmentation during pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. Facial pigmentation, with dark circles under the eyes, is the keynote symptom of Sepia.
Common name: Sublimated Sulphur
Facial pigmentation with dry, unhealthy, and dirty-looking skin can be treated with Sulphur. There is an itching and burning sensation that gets worse by scratching, washing, and in the heat.
Sulphur is a homeopathic medicine for treating facial pigmentation after using local ointments and external applications. Sulphur is suited for skin where every injury suppurates. Other indications include pigmentation after pimples, pustules, and excoriation in the skin folds.
Cadmium sulphuratum (Cadm-s.)
Common name: Cadmium Sulfate
Another homeopathic medicine for facial pigmentation is Cadmium sulphuratum. Often, the pigmentation color varies from yellow to brown. This remedy suits those with pigmentation spots on the entire face and is more prominent on the nose and cheeks.
Cadmium sulph. is one of the very good remedies for facial pigmentation that worsens in the sun and the wind. Other indications of this remedy are chilblains, blue, yellow, scaly, cracking, and itching skin that gets better by scratching.
Pulsatilla nigricans (Puls.)
Common name: Windflower
Pulsatilla nigricans is one of the excellent homeopathic medicines used for facial pigmentation with menstrual irregularities. It is suited to women with pigmentation and delayed menses, scanty menses, and suppressed menses. Pulsatilla works well on freckles on the face and for pigmentation after acne, measles, urticaria, and puberty.
Berberis aquifolium (Berb-a.)
Common name: Mountain grape
Facial pigmentation from eruptions can be treated with Berberis aquifolium. The skin is often dry, rough, and scaly. It is indicated for scalp eruptions that extend to the face and neck.
Berberis treats facial pigmentation after dry eczema, psoriasis, and acne. The above eruptions leave behind pigmentation spots on the face. There is intense itching all over the skin. Other indications of this remedy include waxy skin and cheeks that feel hot.
Causes of facial pigmentation
The main cause of facial pigmentation is excess melanin production by melanocytes. When normal melanocytes are damaged, excess melanin is produced, and it clumps. This results in your skin looking darker or uneven. The causes that can damage melanocytes include:
It’s no longer a secret that sun UV rays are harmful and responsible for up to 80% of premature skin aging.2 One of these symptoms can be hyperpigmentation.
Face pigmentation can be due to hormonal changes.3 Most of the time, it’s associated with pregnancy hormones; hence, it is called the mask of pregnancy.
Facial pigmentation can be the after-effect of inflammation.4 For instance, skin darkening can be seen after acne, burns, cuts, or eczema.
Facial pigmentation can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, like Addison’s disease.5 This disorder affects adrenal glands (glands above your kidneys). Due to this condition, your body doesn’t produce enough cortisol hormone.
If anyone in your immediate family has skin pigmentation like freckles, your chances of getting them are high.6
Certain medications like birth control pills can cause facial pigmentation.7
Signs and symptoms of facial pigmentation
The facial pigmentation spots are sometimes called age, sun, or liver spots. Here are some common symptoms of hyperpigmentation:
- They can appear anywhere on the face, like the nose, cheeks, forehead etc.
- Hyperpigmentation can appear as brown, black, gray, red, or pink spots or patches.
- Patches of hyperpigmentation vary in size and shape. They can be tiny or large patches.
- They can appear like dark blotches on the skin caused by the sun.
Treatment for facial pigmentation
- Azelaic acid
Facial pigmentation due to acne is managed by azelaic acid. It works by killing or preventing the growth of bacteria on the skin.
It helps in facial pigmentation after inflammation like burns or eczema.
Hydroquinone lightens the darker skin patches.
- Kojic acid
This chemical reduces the amount of melanin production in your body.
- Salicylic acid
Salicylic acid works by breaking down the layers of the thick skin.
Tretinoin belongs to a group of retinoids and treats signs of skin aging.
- Vitamin B3 (niacinamide)
Vitamin B3 brightens your skin and helps reduce pigmentation.
A chemical solution is used to remove dead layers of the skin and treat uneven skin tone.
Cryotherapy is a treatment that uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy abnormal skin tissue. Often, substances like liquid nitrogen or argon gas are used in this process.
Laser skin resurfacing
Laser beams of light are used in this therapy. These rays vaporize your skin’s outer layers and encourage the growth of fresh collagen fibers.
Diet and lifestyle modification for facial pigmentation
- Avoid exposure to direct sunlight, by using a hat or scarf or umbrella when you are outdoors.
- Avoid stepping out in the sun during peak heat hours.
- Don’t skip on sunscreen.
- Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables abundant in vitamin C. It has antioxidants that protect your skin from free radical damage.
- Avoid touching, scratching, or picking your skin. Thoroughly wash your hands before you apply skincare or makeup.
- Stop medications that cause facial pigmentation.
Facial pigmentation can be the reason for cosmetic displeasure that can lower your confidence. If you have sensitive skin, peels and other chemical treatments can cause multiple breakouts and worsen your skin.
Homeopathy has a safer, gentle, and permanent solution. Say goodbye to facial pigmentation with homeopathy and flaunt your happy, clean skin again.
- Dlova NC, Akintilo LO, Taylor SC. Prevalence of pigmentary disorders: A cross-sectional study in public hospitals in Durban, South Africa. Int J Womens Dermatol [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2023 Aug 26];5(5):345–8. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijwd.2019.07.002
- Flament F, Bazin R, Rubert, Simonpietri, Piot B, Laquieze. Effect of the sun on visible clinical signs of aging in Caucasian skin. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2023 Aug 30];6:221. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/ccid.s44686
- Handel AC, Miot LDB, Miot HA. Melasma: a clinical and epidemiological review. An Bras Dermatol [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2023 Aug 30];89(5):771–82. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/abd1806-4841.20143063
- Davis EC, Callender VD. Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation: A review of the epidemiology, clinical features, and treatment options in skin of color. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. 2010;3(7):20.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20725554/
- Sarkar S, Sarkar S, Ghosh S, Bandyopadhyay S. Addison?s disease. Contemp Clin Dent [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2023 Aug 30];3(4):484. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0976-237x.107450
- Baxter LL, Pavan WJ. The etiology and molecular genetics of human pigmentation disorders: Human pigmentation disorders. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2023 Aug 26];2(3):379–92. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/wdev.72
- Resnik SS. Melasma and other skin manifestations or oral contraceptives. Trans N Engl Obstet Gynecol Soc [Internet]. 1967 [cited 2023 Aug 26];21. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/5620604/
- Thawabteh AM, Jibreen A, Karaman D, Thawabteh A, Karaman R. Skin pigmentation types, causes and treatment—A review. Molecules [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2023 Aug 26];28(12):4839. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124839
- Breathnach AS. Melanin hyperpigmentation of skin: melasma, topical treatment with azelaic acid, and other therapies. Cutis [Internet]. 1996 [cited 2023 Aug 26];57(1 Suppl). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8654129/
- Bulengo-Ransby SM, Griffiths C, Kimbrough-Green CK, Finkel LJ, Hamilton TA, Ellis CN, et al. Topical tretinoin (retinoic acid) therapy for hyperpigmented lesions caused by inflammation of the skin in black patients. N Engl J Med [Internet]. 1993 [cited 2023 Aug 26];328(20):1438–43. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8479462/
- Hakozaki T, Minwalla L, Zhuang J, Chhoa M, Matsubara A, Miyamoto K, et al. The effect of niacinamide on reducing cutaneous pigmentation and suppression of melanosome transfer. Br J Dermatol [Internet]. 2002 [cited 2023 Aug 26];147(1):20–31. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12100180/
- Sadhukhan M, Kundu C, Das S. Lentigo treated by Sepia officinalis – A case report. Ind J Res Homeopat [Internet]. 2022;16(2). Available from: https://www.ijrh.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1052&context=journal