Hyperpigmentation on Legs Causes and Treatment
The darkening of the skin or appearance of dark colored spots on the face, legs or neck is called hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is controlled by melanin pigment which is responsible for providing color to the skin’ Melanin is produced by the cells called melanocytes present in the lower areas of epidermis. Hyper pigmented legs look awkward and women having these can’t wear skirts and short dresses. There are many causes of appearance of dark spots on the body.
Hyperpigmentation on Legs Causes:
Any disturbance in the production of normal amount of melanocytes can lead to appearance of dark spots and blemishes on the skin. As the body ages, melanocyte distribution becomes less diffuse and its production does not remain in full control of body. As a result, dark spots increase with age. The main causes of hyperpigmentation of legs and face are given below:
Sun exposure: Ultra Violet rays of sun stimulates the activity of melanocytes and hyperpigmentation occurs on the areas of the skin where there is higher concentration of melanocytes. UV rays leads to uneven and patchy skin. Overexposure of legs by the severe sunlight leads to dark spots and blemishes on the legs.
Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) is also responsible from causing dark spots, freckles, blemishes on the skin. PIH results when injured or wounded areas leave marks. Sometimes these marks grow dark with time. There are certain drugs and medicines which have some side effects.
Drugs: Hyperpigmentation is one of the side effect of medicines. The marks start fading when a person stops using a particular drug. Lifelong drugs lead to forever spots and there is no chance of disappearance of blemishes.
Diseases: There are some diseases which cause hyperpigmentation. They are Addison’s disease, Haemochromatosis, Acanthosis and migraine etc. Haemochromatosis is a common genetic disorder which results in the chronic accumulation of iron in the body which results in brownish-red spots.
Adrenal deficiency syndrome also called Addison’s disease which causes appearance of dark spots on the body. The less efficiency of adrenal gland leads to stimulation of melanin synthesis and there is elevation in melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) resulting in dark spots and blemishes.
There are certain blemishes and spots which can lead to cancer if left untreated. So treatment of hyperpigmentation is essential.
Hyperpigmentation on Legs Treatment:
Treatment of hyperpigmentation involves laser treatment, bleaching creams, chemical peels, acid peels, microdermabrasion and many home remedies.
Laser treatment: Laser treatments completely vanishes blemishes and dark spots on face and legs. But this treatment is costly and is not suitable for every skin type. Freezing (cryotherapy) is one such therapy which destroys liver spots and other blemishes. Some spots like liver spots are not harmful but they look awkward on skin and their treatment is necessary.
Microdermabrasion: This is the most common dermatologist based treatment for hyperpigmentation in which a dermatologist uses a laser to exfoliate the top layer of skin to remove darkened and blemished areas.
Skin lightening creams: There are available many skin lightening creams and bleaching creams which cure hyperpigmentation of legs. These creams contain hydroquinone, kojic acid and Vitamin E, which are effective in lightening blemishes and spots of legs. Buy a skin bleach cream containing hydroquinone. Rub the lotion on hyperpigmented spots on your legs and arms twice a day. The spots will disappear within a few months of regular use.
Homemade remedies: Homemade remedies are considered to be the best treatment for hyperpigmentation as they do not cause any side effect and are almost free of cost. They can be easily accessible. Some of the best remedies are given below:
Lemon and vinegar mask: Take two lemons. Cut them into two halves. Squeeze out the juice. Divide the juice into two equal amounts. Put the divided portion of lemon juice in two separate containers. Now take some apple cider vinegar and add into both containers containing lemon juice. Keep one aside and add enough sugar to the other container to form a thin paste.
Scoop up some of this paste with your hands and gently scrub it over your legs with your fingertips. The sugar exfoliates your skin by sloughing off dead cells and revealing new skin. Citric acid of lemon juice soaks into skin and begins the process of fading. Apple cedar vinegar helps in fading dark spots and blemishes. Both lemon and Apple cedar vinegar also help in lightening the color of legs. Now wipe the paste from your legs and soak two soft clothes in sugarless mixture of lemon and Apple cedar vinegar.
Wrap these clothes containing sugarless mixture on both legs. Make sure each cloth unfolds enough to cover the spotted area on each leg. Spread the clothes on each leg and keep as such for ten minutes. This additional soaking will help the spots to lighten faster and quickly. After ten minutes, rinse your legs and clothes. Repeat the process every day for about a month. Result can be seen within two weeks as spots will start fading away. The spots will be invisible in one month.
Vitamin E lotion: Buy a lotion containing Vitamin E. Rub this lotion on the dark spots of legs daily. Regular use of vitamin E on legs will fade away dark spots completely. Vitamin E is very good for nourishment of skin. Vitamin E capsules should be taken regularly to see the results within few weeks. Vitamin E rich diet must be included in meals. Vitamin E is present in spinach, fish, Tofu etc.
Castor oil: Castor oil is a natural skin lightener. Rub castor oil on the blemishes and other hyperpigmented areas of your legs. The dark spots will fade away within one month.
Lemon juice and potato: Take a small potato. Peel it. Cut it into pieces. Take half cucumber and cut its pieces. Take two table spoons of fresh lemon juice and one tablespoon of yogurt. Add all the three ingredients into a blender and make paste of it. Apply this paste to the affected areas of legs and cover with two damp hot towels and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse off with cold water. Potato is very useful for reducing dark spots. Cucumber lightens the skin. Yogurt makes the skin soft. This remedy is very effective for all skin types.
Aloe vera: Aloe vera for hyperpigmentation is very beneficial plant. It has been used in many homemade remedies. Many people grow it in their home. The juice or gel of aloe vera can be extracted at home or can be bought from the market. Take some amount of gel or juice and directly apply it to the pigmented areas of legs. Keep the solution for 15 minutes on legs. Now rinse it off with cold water. Regular use of this remedy will help in fading of spots and skin will become softer and healthier. Aloevera juice can also be consumed. This intake will improve complexion.
Sunscreen: A person having hyperpigmentation of any type must apply sun screen on sun exposed parts of the body before going outside in sun. Sunscreen protects body from ultraviolet rays of sun. It does the work of a shield and UV rays fail to penetrate into the body. Sunscreen should be applied on face, legs and hands about 30 minutes before coming out of home. It takes 30 minutes for sunscreen to penetrate into the body and form a shield.
Conclusion: It is not difficult to completely free one’s body from hyperpigmentation. The remedies should be followed on regular basis. Legs will be free from pigmentation within weeks.