Skin pigment disorders affect many individuals. It is a disorder which is the result of overproduction or underproduction of melanin, a pigment which gives color to the skin, hair and the iris of the eye. The amount and type of melanin determine a person’s skin color. Too much of melanin (hyperpigmentation) causes dark patches on the skin while too little (hypo-pigmentation) causes white patches on the skin. This can happen either on the entire body or in some specific parts of the body. Studies show that pigment disorder can occur due to sun exposure, drug reactions or genetic inheritance.
Types of skin pigment disorders
- Albinism – it is an inherited pigment disorder where melanin production is low and causes white hair, pale ski, and pink eyes.
- Melasma – It is dark brown patches appearing on the face due to overproduction of melanin. Pregnant ladies are prone to this disorder.
- Pigment loss after skin damage
- Vitiligo – white patches on the skin appear on the body due to loss of pigment-producing cells called melanocytes
Treatments of these disorders range from avoiding the sun and using sunscreen and skin lightening creams to skin grafting.
Ayurveda and pigment disorders
According to Ayurveda, Pitta dosha is responsible for skin pigmentation disorders. One of the five pitta dosha, bhrajaka pitta present in the skin tissue gives the skin its color, temperature, and aura. Unhealthy lifestyle and poor dietary habits cause imbalances in the pitta dosha, resulting in skin disorders.
Ayurvedic treatments for skin pigmentation start by identifying the cause, pacifying the dominant dosha and modifying the lifestyle of the individual accordingly. The aim is to normalize the skin color and treat the known cause. Herbs such as haritaki, haridra, takla, manjishtha, amalaki, etc. are used to treat various pigmentation disorders.
Pigmento ointment – a treatment for vitiligo
Pigmento ointment is an effective formulation to treat vitiligo. Produced by Charak Pharmaceuticals, it helps your skin return to its normal pigmentation. In vitiligo, the immune system destroys the melanocytes, (the melanin-producing cells) in the skin. It is a non-infectious disorder. Both genetic and environmental factors are said to contribute to vitiligo. It can be also caused by physical trauma, illness or emotional stress. Pigmento ointment, when applied on the skin, stimulates melanogenesis. It gives a soothing effect to the skin and relieves itching and burning of the skin caused by skin allergies. It is a safe and effective formulation and can be used in conjunction with ultraviolet therapy.
Pigmento should be applied twice daily on affected areas. After application, exposure to morning sunlight, starting out with 2 minutes and gradually increasing to 20 minutes, can be beneficial. Ayurvedic physicians recommend consuming less spicy foods and avoiding meat, eggs, curd, kokam, and tamarind.
Ingredients of Pigmento ointment
Pigmento is an herbal formulation whose ingredients are effective in stimulating pigmentation of the skin. Some of the primary ingredients and their respective uses are listed in the table below:
|Bakuchi oil||stimulates the melanoblastic cells to create normal pigmentation|
|Jeeraka||purifies blood and acts as an astringent|
|Nagarmotha||helps in relieving from itching|
|Tulsi beej||helps in the treatment of leucoderma|
|Khadira beej||alleviates vitiligo|
|Neem beej||purifies blood|
|gairik||acts as an antibacterial agent|
|Arishtat beej||boosts the immune system|
Simple tips for healthier skin
Skin pigmentation disorder can affect your lives so much that you feel unable to face the world. Your self-esteem and confidence decrease leaving you feeling depressed and lonely. Although a full cure is not possible, skin pigmentation disorder can be controlled and reduced. Below are some tips to help you.
- Having a glass of warm goat’s milk mixed with a teaspoon of honey is said to be good for skin pigmentation disorders.
- Fresh aloe vera juice when applied gently on the face, left for 15 minutes and washed off with warm water can help to lighten the dark spots.
- Fresh orange peel powdered and mixed with milk can help lighten skin discoloration. The mixture should be applied gently and washed off with warm water after leaving it on for 30minutes.
- Applying cucumber juice on the face helps to reduce pigmentation.
- Avoiding going out in the sun without sunscreen will prevent skin diseases.
- Drinking between 6 and 8 cups of boiled water daily will help your body expels toxins that harm your skin and lead to hyper-pigmentation.
- Doing yoga will increase blood flow throughout your body thereby helping resolve age spots, acne and other forms of hyper-pigmentation.
Leading a life that is healthy and active with regular application of pigmento ointment ensures a body that is not susceptible to diseases and help you face the world more confidently.