• 22
  • Oct

A reader asks: I am 35 years old male working in Dubai. I have skin pigmentation problem called Melasma. I have tried all creams/ointments, laser treatment etc, but no use. 
Is there any ayurvedic or homeopathy treatments that can stop this pigmentation on my face?

Dr Jomol Mariam Thomas, Dubai Health Authority licensed Ayurveda Practitioner, Senior  Ayurveda Consultant, Dr Shyam’s Ayurveda Centre, Dubai, replies: Melasma (also known as Chloasma) is a painless skin level tan or hyper pigmentation. In Melasma the lesion are dark, irregular and well differentiated. These pigmented patches are commonly found on the upper cheek, nose, lips, upper lip and forehead, which often develop gradually over a period of time. It is common in women in their reproductive years due to the hormonal changes and its prevalence among men due to unknown reasons is not negligible.
Melasma is thought to be caused by the stimulation of melanocytes, a specialized skin cell that produces the protective skin-darkening pigment called melanin.
Basic causes for hyper pigmentation are sun exposure and other causes of skin inflammation. Genetic factors, hyperthyroidism, Addison’s disease, stress, allergic reaction to cosmetics and certain drugs can be added causes stimulating the melanocytes.
The disorder described as 'Vyangam' in Ayurveda can be clinically correlated to Melasma. Vyangam has no systemic effects other than the cosmetic significance.
Causative factors according to Ayurveda:
Krodha, shoka, aayasa (emotional upheavals and stress)
Ahithaahara sevana (unwholesome diet)
Pitha prakopakara aahara (food that aggravates the Pitha factor)
These cause the vitiation of Pitha and Raktha in association with Vata, leads to the symptoms of blackish discoloration on the face
Line of treatment:
The clinical trials of certain Ayurvedic medicines are found to be effective in reducing the darkened skin patches. (Tried after ruling out underlying diseases if any.)
External application of certain medicines that imparts complexion
Medicines that pacify pitha
Medicines for blood purification
The regular application of Manjishta powder mixed with honey or red sandalwood with Aloe Vera or honey is found to be effective
The application of haridra (turmeric ) with Arka ksheera (exudation from leaves of Calotropis gigantea) can also be tried under the  strict guidance and supervision of a physician
Application of Kumkumadi tylam on the face as well as its  usage as nasal drops also helps in lightening the patches
The decoctions which contain manjishta, Neem, Sariba, Khadira , Usira, Chandana, Mustha, parpata etc  may be used for blood purification
Foods that contain therapeutic levels of Ellagic acid has been found effective in lightening Melasma, include walnuts cranberries, raspberries, pomegranates, blackberries and strawberries
Avoidance of hot and spicy foods is very much required
In all of these treatments the effects are gradual as Melasma slowly responds to the treatment, several months are often required before results reach desired degrees of lightening.
A strict avoidance of sunlight is required. Sun protection factor, or SPF, of 30 or higher, is your best prevention against continued darkening of melasma. Shading yourself  by means of a lotion with SPF, umbrella, hats or anything you can put between yourself and direct sunlight will allow other lightening treatments to do their action in a better way.
Do not try any skin irritants or chemicals on the face as it may lead to contact dermatitis and subsequent post inflammatory hyper pigmentation.
Disclaimer: This blog is a conversation and is not an alternative for treatment. The recommendations and suggestions offered by our panel of doctors are their own and Gulf News will not take any responsibility for the advice they provide.