A smooth, uniform skin tone is desirable to all. However, many people will sometimes undergo unusual changes in their skin, which can be displeasing to the eyes and may also bring down the person’s emotional confidence and positivity. Skin discoloration and hyper pigmentation are the most commonly experienced problems today due to the depleted ozone layer and harmful UV radiations of the sun and also some other factors, which are mentioned ahead.

There are several patterns in which skin discoloration occurs:

  1. On the face:  This type of discoloration occurs commonly around the lips, chin and forehead.
  2. Excessively dark circles around the eyes.
  3. Outbreak of spots and freckles all over the body.
  4. Butterfly pattern patch on the nose and cheeks. (Mostly occurs during pregnancy due to low haemoglobin levels and hormonal imbalance.
  5. Bluish or purple spots also known as “purpura” – These bluish purple dark spots occurs due to the lack of oxygen in the blood. The underlying cause can be some chronic disease like pneumonia, cardiovascular diseases or asthma.
  6. Colouring pigments of the skin gets affected during menopausal phase because of the huge hormonal shift.
  7. Forehead and arms tanning- This is a kind of discoloration which is something externally caused due to the over exposure of sun or excessive sitting in close contact with CFL light bulbs using mercury, as they emit UV rays and may cause photo-dermatitis.

Factors responsible for skin discoloration and hyper- pigmentation:

  1. Endocrine Glands  - Due to impaired functions of endocrine glands, the hormones in the body get imbalanced, due to which the production of colouring pigment called Melanin is compromised. Imbalance caused to this pigment sometimes leads to the deposition of dead cells on the skin surface, which ultimately causes darkening of complexion.
    Melanin is a pigment, which imparts colour to the skin and is a form of black brown protein.
    The higher the level of melanin, the darker will be the complexion of a person.
  2. Sun exposure - Over exposure of sun leads to skin burn, rashes or skin tan, which either causes redness of the skin or dark brown skin tone of certain exposed body parts. Skin tan however, repairs quickly compared to skin burn.
  3. Nutritional deficiencies - A pale complexion of a person may be indicative of lack of skin pigments, resulting from various vitamin deficiencies .The main vitamin deficiencies that are connoted  with the skin discoloration and hyper pigmentation are:
    -    Iron deficiency, calcium deficiency.
    -    Vitamin A deficiency: which causes thickening and drying of the skin making it dark.
    -    Vitamin E and vitamin C : Both vitamins helps in maintaining the healthy epithelial layer of the skin and also Ascorbic acid helps in the collagen production, thereby, preventing patchy and spotty discoloration of the skin.

    For a speedy recovery from skin discoloration, some simple tips could be followed:
    1-    Application of sunscreen lotions on the exposed areas of body even when staying indoors, as many places have CFL lights fitted.
    2-    To prevent hyper pigmentation of skin, intake of Vitamin C in the form of citrus fruits or dispersible tablets can be consumed.
    3-    Applying of mashed potato paste (raw) on the darkened portions of the skin helps in restoring the normal and rather much bright complexion as the potato contains natural bleaching agent. Hence, it’s a wonderful ingredient to be used under eyes for lightening the dark circles.
    4-    Oats, lemon and honey pack is another natural thing to improve the lost lustre of the skin and helps in exfoliation of the dead skin cells as well.
    5-    Drinking up rose water decoction, by soaking fresh rose petals in a water jug overnight in refrigerator and consuming the same next day helps in keeping the dryness of skin at bay and also brings the natural glow on the skin.
    6-    Iron and vitamin rich vegetables and fruits should be consumed like spinach, lotus stem, apple, pomegranate, beetroot, papaya, guava, strawberries, celery stalks and leaves, mango are quite a few food items which are very skin friendly and help to promote a good skin complexion.
    7-    Kumkumadi tailyam is an Ayurvedic oil which is very beneficial in promoting the radiance and good complexion to the skin.  Massaging it twice a week on the face or over the affected body part could be of great help to subside the discoloration or hyper pigmentation.

Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre
Dr.Shruti Bhardwaj