Ayurveda believes that the human body is made of 3 doshas kapha, pitta and vata. Most illnesses are a result of an imbalance between these three doshas and dominance of patterns and symptoms of one of the three doshas. Melanin is the pigment that gives the skin its colour; higher the pigment levels, darker the complexion. Hyperpigmentation is caused due to excessive melanin deposition, commonly in certain areas of the skin like the face leading to blemishes and dark spots. In fair complexioned people, this could be an aesthetic issue, affecting the personality of the individual.
The following are some common causes of hyperpigmentation:
1. Overexposure to sunlight - direct exposure to sunlight without the use of sunscreen.
2. Environmental pollutants - dust and other chemicals, especially in areas with high levels of pollution are more prone to hyperpigmentation.
3. Cosmetic products - if they contain chemicals like silicone and hydroquinone, over a long period of time, can produce dark spots.
4. Antibiotics and hormone treatments - as a side effect, some antibiotics and hormones used as oral contraceptive pills can produce spots.
5. Viral infections like herpes - the scars from infections like herpes and chickenpox would take time to heal completely and can be a cosmetic issue.
6. Hormonal issues may cause hyperpigmentation and in that case, we need to supplement herbal tablets for better result and better skin health and glow.
Now, let us look at some simple, herbal ways to manage these:
Natural exfoliation of skin - wash the skin regularly with plain water before heading out and after returning. Aloe vera juice can be used as a cleanser and toner followed by applying vitamin e oil. Use the following natural face packs:
1. Turmeric - known for its skin lightening properties, turmeric can be mixed with milk or aloe vera pulp or ghee and applied to the skin. Alternately, plain turmeric can be rubbed on the skin once or twice a day to reduce blemishes.
2. Lemon juice - application of plain lime juice is considered as an excellent way to reduce dark spots and blemishes.
3. Sandalwood - believed to have great benefits on the skin. Mixed with honey or milk or plain sandalwood as a paste is very beneficial to the skin.
4. Tomato juice - mixed with honey is also believed to be good for skin complexion.
5. Water - drinking lots of water keeps the skin hydrated and helps the skin keep pigmentation at bay. There would be a natural glow and elasticity of the skin, which is very visible.
In addition to these food substances, there are a lot of topical applications like oils (kumkumadi oil, nalpamaradi oil, eladi oil, and kanaka oil). The treatment should be holistic in that along with topical applications there should be overall reduced exposure to sun and sufficient water consumption to wash off toxins and dead skin cells.
When it comes to internal medicine, Rubia, glycerrhizin, curcumin is herbs of choice.