We’re sure that you’re familiar with melanin—it’s a natural pigment that is present in our skin, hair, eyes, etc that gives them their colour. It is also the reason we have freckles, brown patches, and dark patches called hyperpigmentation. For those of you who have noticed these around your mouth or skin, we’ve got Dr Kaustav Guha, Head of R&D at SkinKraft Labs to clear out all your doubts.
“Pigmentation is a normally harmless skin condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal skin area. This occurs when an excess of melanin, the pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin,” explains Dr Guha.
When taken a step further, it becomes hyperpigmentation which is caused by excess production of melanin in certain areas of the skin, which makes those patches darker than the rest of your skin. The reasons for this could be sun exposure and skin burn or any other injury. In very cold weather, if you lick your lips and the area around them too often, it can discolour the skin and make it look darker.
“There are certain medicines that can cause pigmentation, which may also affect the area around the mouth. These include tricyclic antidepressants and anti-malaria medication. Chemicals present in certain ointments can also cause hyperpigmentation as a side effect”, explains Dr Guha.
Skin brightening creams can be effective in reducing the dark area around the mouth. Look for ingredients such as glabridin (a licorice extract), kojic acid, vitamin C, grape seed extract, azelaic acid, arbutin, curcumin, or niacinamide. These block the production of tyrosinase which is needed by the skin to make melanin.
Oranges are great for your daily Vitamin C intake. The natural oils present in oranges keep your skin hydrated, making it look plump. You could have half of it every day or drink it in the form of juice or a smoothie.
Rich in Vitamin A, C, and B, this fruit can prove to be effective in maintaining good skin health. Papaya can also improve your digestive system and prevent constipation. This, in turn, aids in clearing up your skin. Studies suggest that this fruit can also speed up the wound healing process.
Rich in Vitamin C, lemon can help reduce signs of aging, hyperpigmentation, and scarring. Lemon is also a natural bleaching agent. It helps reduce sun damage and tan. Addressing a host of skin issues, this ingredient should be made a mandatory part of your skincare regimen. Lemon juice water with a teaspoon of honey added to it should be the first thing you drink in the morning. You can add lemon juice to your salad and even your curries while you consume them.
The peel of a cucumber contains Vitamin C and Vitamin K, which is vital to achieving healthy, glowing skin. Studies suggest that sea cucumbers can aid in skin whitening and can also reduce the appearance of fine lines. They also help in reducing puffy eyes and dark circles. It also contains flavonoids and tannins—which are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory that can help minimize redness and inflammation. Tannins have natural antimicrobial properties that help reduce acne breakouts and blemishes.
So, ready to combat hyperpigmentation?
Also Read: How to increase melenin in hair
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