As we age, our skin continues to be riddled with various skin problems. Some are quite minor and go away easily, while some are stubborn and need special treatment to be removed. One such skin problem is pigmentation on the face. Since they are unwanted and can be quite unsightly, people often ask us how to get rid of pigmentation on the face.
There are a lot of ways to remove pigmentation from your face. You can go for laser treatment, or use various over-the-counter creams, retinoids, chemical peels, and skin acids. You can also go for various remedial methods such as dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, or intense pulse-light therapy. All of these ways to remove pigmentation have varied rates of success depending on the patient.
Let’s take a deeper look at all these pigmentation removal procedures.
What is pigmentation?
When a certain part of your skin is darker than the rest, it is called pigmentation. This happens due to excessive amounts of melanin produced in that part of the skin than the rest. When the skin has pigmentation, the spot looks very out of place. This is even truer for the face, as it is extremely annoying to have a part of your face a different color than the rest.
There are 4 different types of pigmentation that people suffer from. They are:
This condition is more commonly noticed in women, especially pregnant women. Their face, upper lips, and foreheads suddenly become riddled with brown spots.
This kind of pigmentation is caused by, you guessed it, the sun. When people become overexposed to the rays of the sun, the UV causes the skin to produce more melanin. As a result, the skin becomes darker in places.
These pigmentations are the most temporary variety of pigmentation and are caused by various traumas the skin suffers. These traumas include various infections, acne, etc. They go away very soon after appearing.
This is a medical condition that causes the adrenal gland to produce excessive melanin. This results in there appearing dark brown spots on the skin.
What helps get rid of hyperpigmentation?
Now that you know what causes pigmentation, it is time for you to know how can you get rid of pigmentation on your face. Here are the most common and popular methods of doing so.
1. Laser therapy
Laser treatment is one of the very best and most effective ways to remove pigmentation from the skin. Laser to get rid of hyperpigmentation works in two different ways based on the type of laser. The ablative laser treatment used a concentrated laser to heat the pigmented area so much that the skin starts to peel off.
On the other hand, non-ablative laser treatment stimulates the production of collagen under the skin’s surface, which makes the pigment go away. Now, you might wonder, “What laser is best for hyperpigmentation?” If you want to get back to your day-to-day life as soon as possible, you should get the non-ablative laser treatment due to its shorter recovery time.
Also, using laser therapy is one of the fastest ways to get rid of hyperpigmentation. Compared to other methods on this list, the recovery time for both ablative and non-ablative laser treatment is much shorter.
2. OTC creams
OTC or over-the-counter creams are another popular way to get rid of pigmentation on the face. These creams don’t need any prescription and contain various nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, and lemon and licorice extracts among others. These nutrients reduce the production of melanin and reduce pigmentation.
These are oral agents that need to be taken after consulting with a physician. If you are pregnant, lactating, or have sensitive skin, you need to consult your doctor before taking these as they can cause some side effects. Retinoids penetrate the skin and work to remove pigmentations from the face.
4. Chemical peels
Chemical peels, which have concentrated acids in large quantities, should only be used by dermatologists. These acids are applied directly on the pigmented area and can work superbly to remove these brown spots. The reason these peels should be applied by professionals is that they can have some side effects such as redness and itching.
5. Skin acids
These acids are applied directly onto the skin and are a bit more diluted than the ones present in chemical peels. These acids, which include kojic acid, Vitamin C, and glycolic and salicylic acids work better on lighter pigmentations.
6. Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion
Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion are two non-invasive procedures that are extremely effective in removing pigmentation from the face. Both of the methods remove the outer layer of the skin via high-speed equipment and are suitable for lighter skin tones. People with darker skin tones are discouraged from using these two methods because of the resulting scarring.
7. Intense pulse light therapy
Intense pulse light or IPL is a therapy that uses intense light on the skin which heats the pigmented layer of the skin and destroys it. You will need more than one session to reap the full rewards of IPL therapy.
8. Homemade solutions
Over the years, a lot of solutions to pigmentation problems have arisen with varying degrees of success. You can use apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, green tea extract, red onion, milk, tomato paste, black tea water, red lentils, etc on your face to get rid of pigmentation.
Though pigmentation on the face is a nuisance and can lead to a loss of self-confidence, there are a lot of ways to get rid of them. All you need to know is how to get rid of pigmentation on the face and choose the methods that suit your skin and criteria the most.
1. Can lasers get rid of hyperpigmentation?
There are a few methods of treating hyperpigmentation that doesn’t remove them completely. Laser treatment on the other hand completely gets rid of hyperpigmentation from the skin.
2. Can laser treatment remove pigmentation permanently?
Although laser treatments can remove the pigmentation from the face completely, they are not a permanent solution. There is every chance that pigmentation will return after getting laser therapy.
3. What foods reduce pigmentation?
Some foods help to reduce pigmentation. If you have pigmentation, try to eat citrus fruits such as lemons, and some other foods such as sweet potatoes, pumpkins, etc.