Is There A Natural Treatment For Melasma?
Melasma is a very common skin disorder associated with skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation to be exact). It causes spots that occur mainly on the cheeks, around the nose, near the mouth, and the forehead. The color of the spots can vary from brown to gray, but in fact, they are most often described by people affected by the condition as dirty-looking patches.
What Causes Melasma?
Hormone imbalance during pregnancy, certain medications, like oral contraceptives, and intense sun exposure can trigger or worsen an already existing condition, however, the actual culprits are Melanocyte-stimulating hormones responsible for the production of the skin’s pigment melatonin. The increased level of these hormones causes the skin to get darker and in the case of melasma – unevenly, forming spots on the skin’s surface.
Who Gets Affected?
The condition affects both sexes but is more prevalent in women (estrogen and progesterone are considered an underlying cause for the development of Melasma). Statistics also show that people with a darker complexion are at higher risk for melasma than people with a fair complexion.
Prevention Is Better Than Treatment!
As there are claims that genetic predisposition also plays a role in the occurrence of Melasma, if you have relatives that have the condition, it is an absolute must to invest in good products for sun protection and make sure to apply them every time you go out (no matter the season). Prolonged sun exposure is also not recommended.
Alternative Treatments For Melasma
Apart from what conventional medicine has to offer, thankfully, there are also natural treatments for melasma. One of the most popular approaches for managing hyperpigmentation is the use of natural acids – lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Fresh lemon juice can be applied daily on the spots with a small cotton pad, while vinegar is recommended to be used as a skin toner on the entire face (or any of the affected areas). Vinegar should be mixed with water in proportions 1:1 because it is more acidic, thus – more aggressive. Acids act as chemical exfoliating agents, accelerating the removal of the discolored cells and the patches/spots they form.
You should also pay attention to regular exfoliation because by removing the dead cells from the skin’s surface, you actually “push” your skin to regenerate on its own, which will speed up the entire healing process.
Turmeric powder is another miraculous natural remedy for skin discoloration and redness! It is usually used in the form of paste mixed with milk, lemon juice, or Aloe Vera (depending on your preferences), and it is applied to the affected area as a mask for 10 minutes. Not only that, in the long run, it will help in reducing the spots, but after every application, you will notice your skin is getting brighter and with more glow.
Pay Attention To Your Hormones
As hormone imbalance is one of the most common reasons melasma occurs it is very important to aim at leading a balanced and healthy lifestyle and paying attention to your overall mental and physical condition. Adopting some common healthy habits can make a huge difference in reducing melasma, like taking enough sleep, eating well (lots of fruits and veggies as they are full of antioxidants – a key factor for your skin’s well-being), drinking plenty of water, and avoiding situations that stress you out, because your mental state can also lead to fluctuations in your hormone levels.
Good To Know
Unfortunately, acids may also irritate the skin, even in low concentrations. As a soothing agent, if your skin gets red or itchy after application, you can use Aloe Vera, ground cucumber, or milk and oats.
On the other hand, as the application of acids greatly increases photo-sensitivity you should always use sunscreen with mineral-based broad-spectrum SPF (zinc or titanium oxide, at least 30 spf preferably) and a hat, to minimize as much as possible any contact with UV rays that may worsen the condition or slow down the healing process. Reapplication every 2 hours is extremely important, to maintain the level of protection high enough.
As with any natural treatment, instant results aren’t typical, however, if you stick with these natural treatments for melasma you will soon realize that all good things happen over time. The many women who have reduced or eliminated melasma successfully (and naturally!) are living proof that it is fully possible. And, yes, the condition can be very stubborn, but so can you – don’t get discouraged!