Skin pigmentation arises due to irregular deposition of melanin in the skin.
These factors may be genetic or may be activated by external and more controllable circumstances. Melanin is deposited in the skin by melanocytes. The health of melanocytes is key to almost all pigmentation issues.
Pigmentation concerns can be broken into hypopigmentation (light patches) and hyperpigmentation (dark patches). The patches may be large (e.g. vitiligo) or they may be barely perceptible. There are more than 70 different pigmentation disorders.
UV is an aggravating factor but so is Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D levels are dangerously low in a large proportion of the population due to indoor lifestyles. Some sun exposure is essential to health and the health of skin. This may seem contradictory but 15 minutes of direct sun exposure on a large part of your body a few times a week is healthy.
Medication, reaction to chemical exposure and hormonal changes can also be initial triggers.
- Frequent low level sun exposure with the affected areas covered.
- Oral Vitamin D supplements if levels are low.
- Essential fatty acid intake — either 15g per day of flax seed oil or 400 mg of long chain omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA).
- Supplement with vitamin C (400mg) on a daily basis.
- Re-evaluate your diet — move to a high fibre, low sugar, fresh food diet.
- Avoid photosensitising ingredients in make-up, skincare and hair care products.