Melasma is a condition that causes irregular patches of hyperpigmentation on the face. It is caused when the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone stimulate pigment-producing cells to produce excess melanin when the skin is exposed to the sun. Melasma is more common in darker skin tones that naturally contain more of these pigment-producing cells such as Asian and African American skin. There are a number of melasma treatments that are not suitable for pregnant women and seeing as many melasma sufferers are indeed pregnant, safer treatment alternatives are needed. If you don't want to wait until after pregnancy for a cure, consider these home remedies for melasma.
Melasma usually occurs in pregnant women when estrogen levels are high but it can also affect women taking oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy.
Lemon Juice for Melasma
Lemon juice has natural skin lightening properties and is probably the most popular natural skin lightening recommendation. Apply fresh lemon juice to the affected areas with a cotton ball each night and leave on the face for up to 20 minutes before washing it off. For faster results you can do this twice a day but we sure to wash the lemon juice off and wear high factor sunscreen before going outdoors as lemon juice makes the skin extra sensitive to the sun.
Melasma and Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years for many skin ailments. The gel contained inside the thick leaves of the aloe vera plant has anti-inflammatory and skin lightening properties. If you have a plant, you can extract the gel from the leaves yourself, otherwise you can purchase 100% aloe vera gel online. The gel can be applied to the face at night and then washed off in the morning. Continue treatment diligently for best results. Home remedies for melasma are effective and gentle but may take several months to show full results.
The most important thing when treating melasma is a good sun block or high-factor sunscreen. During pregnancy or hormone treatment, protecting your skin from the sun will help to prevent hormone-related hyperpigmentation.
If you're no longer pregnant or your hyperpigmentation was caused by hormone medication and not pregnancy, you can use skin lightening products or other treatments to reverse melasma.
Chemical peels and laser treatment can be used to remove hyperpigmentation but the most popular treatment remains skin whitening products. There are a number of skin lightening treatments on the market that contain only natural ingredients so you don't need to worry about potentially harming your skin.