Pigmentation means coloring. Skin pigmentation disorders affect the color of your skin. Your skin gets its color from a pigment called melanin. Special cells in the skin make melanin. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production. Some pigmentation disorders affect just patches of skin. Others affect your entire body. If your body makes too much melanin, your skin gets darker. Pregnancy, Addison’s disease, and sun exposure all can make your skin darker. If your body makes too little melanin, your skin gets lighter. Vitiligo is a condition that causes patches of light skin. Albinism is a genetic condition affecting a person’s skin. A person with albinism may have no color, lighter than normal skin color, or patchy missing skin color. Infections, blisters, and burns can also cause lighter skin. There are several ways that you can treat pigmentation. While several of the remedies we share here are anecdotal, some research suggests their main ingredients work on skin pigmentation.
Top 10 Remedies to Get Rid of Pigmentation
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which research trusted. Source shows might lighten pigmentation.
To use this remedy:
- Combine equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a container.
- Apply to your dark patches and leave on two to three minutes.
- Rinse using lukewarm water.
- Repeat twice daily you achieve the results you desire.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera contains aloin, a natural depigmenting compound that has been shown to lighten skin and work effectively as a nontoxic hyperpigmentation treatment, according to a 2012 study.
- Apply pure aloe vera gel to pigmented areas before bedtime.
- Rinse using warm water the next morning.
- Repeat daily until your skin color improves
3. Licorice Extract
Licorice extract contains active ingredients that have been shown to lighten hyperpigmentation caused by melasma and sun exposure. Topical creams containing licorice extract are available over the counter. Use as directed on the packaging.
4. Orchid Extracts
Orchid extracts are just as effective as vitamin C hyperpigmentation remedies, according to a research Trusted Source. Applying orchid-rich extracts to the skin for eight weeks improved the size and appearance of dark patches. You can buy skin products containing orchid extract, including masks, creams, and scrubs. Use as directed for the best results.
5. Topical Treatment
Many people use topical treatments to treat hyperpigmentation.
Topical treatments will include ingredients that lighten the skin, such as:
- azelaic acid
- kojic acid
- retinoids, such as tretinoin
- vitamin C
6. Black Tea Water
An animal study trusted Source published in 2011 found that black tea water lightened dark spots on guinea pigs. The black tea water was applied twice a day, six days a week for four weeks.
To try your own version of this hyperpigmentation treatment at home:
- Add a tablespoon of fresh black tea leaves to a cup of boiling distilled water.
- Steep for two hours and strain to remove the leaves.
- Soak a cotton ball in the tea water and apply it to areas of hyperpigmentation twice a day.
- Repeat every day for six days a week, over four weeks.
7. Green Tea Extract
ResearchTrusted Source shows that green tea extract may have a depigmenting effect when applied to the skin. You can purchase green tea extract and apply it as directed. Some websites suggest applying green tea bags to dark spots for a lightening effect, though there is no evidence to back this claim.
If you’d like to give it a try, follow these steps:
- Steep a green tea bag in boiled water for three to five minutes.
- Remove the teabag from the water and let it cool — you don’t want to burn your skin.
- Rub the tea bag over your dark patches.
- Repeat twice a day until you get results.
8. Ask a Dermatologist About High-Tech Options
If topical solutions aren’t fixing the problem, you may want to talk to your dermatologist about more aggressive ways to banish discoloration, such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or dermabrasion, or, according to the International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine, a laser or a light-based procedure. (One exception: If you have melasma, lasers and chemical peels could make your hyperpigmentation worse.)
9. Keep Skin Moist to Boost Cell Turnover
While your primary goal with pigmentation is to lighten the dark spots, and effective over-the-counter (OTC) product should contain ingredients that benefit the skin in other ways. “In addition to addressing the pigment issues, a good product will have moisturizing agents like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, and maybe even a retinol to boost cell turnover,” says Doris Day. Using the Power of Your Mind and Aesthetic Breakthroughs to Look Naturally Young and Radiant. “These inactive ingredients allow the active brighteners to work more effectively.” A good moisturizer can also restore the skin’s lipid (fat) barrier, further protecting it from the sun’s damaging rays, notes Harvard Health.
Manjistha is an Ayurvedic herb that has numerous skin benefits. It is a blood purifier and can treat the skin from within. It has a sweet, bitter, and acidic taste and is an effective pitta pacifier. It supports healthy and younger-looking skin. Manjistha capsules can be consumed once or twice daily to treat dark spots. You can also mix manjistha powder with honey and leave it on your face for 15-20 minutes before washing it off and pat dry your skin.
In all cases, hyperpigmentation itself is not an issue and does not pose any risk to the body. However, an underlying condition may require proper treatment.