Natural Treatments for Melasma or Dark Spots

· December 15, 2014
It's a common skin disorder that mostly affects young women with a lighter complexion or olive colored skin.

Melasma is the appearance of skin spots on the part of your face exposed to the sun. In this article, we’re going to talk about the characteristics, causes and natural treatments for melasma or dark spots on your skin.

Characteristics of melasma

This skin condition has a strong link to imbalances in the female hormones progesterone and estrogen. That’s why melasma is more common in pregnant women and women who take birth control or undergo hormone replacement therapy during menopause.

This condition can only come up through sun exposure. That’s why it’s more common in women who live in tropical climates, and during the summer. Other cases happen from high levels of stress, side effects from cosmetics or medicines, heredity, and thyroid problems.

There is only one symptom of melasma: a change in the color of your facial skin. This can cause anxiety or concern because of its effect on your appearance. Skin tone disorders almost always have a uniform brown color.

The spots appear on the forehead, cheeks, nose, and upper lip. They’re normally symmetrical. In other words, they appear in the same manner on both sides of the face.

treatments for dark spots or melasma

Medical treatments for melasma include creams with kojic acid, azelaic acid, hydroquinone, and tretinoin, exfoliation with steroid or chemical topical creams, laser treatments (for severe cases), suspending the hormonal treatments causing the problem, or waiting for the pregnancy to be over to see if symptoms continue.

Melasma normally disappears in a maximum of a few months with the proper treatment. But it can reappear if you get pregnant or start to take hormones again. Doctors say that to prevent these spots, a good sunscreen can help quite a bit. Plus, you’ll also be preventing skin cancer and wrinkles. 

Home remedies for dark spots or melasma

With just a few ingredients found in your home you can administer great natural treatments for melasma. They’ll help you get rid of the brown spots that have appeared on your face from pregnancy, birth control, medicine for menopause. Remember that melasma happens because of an increase in production of melanin, which is what gives your skin its color

Read more: 10 Foods for Improving Fertility

treatments for melasma spots

Some people say that melasma more often affects women with dark skin. There are also people who say it affects more women with olive-toned skin. There are also other people who say that women with pale skin are the most commonly affected by it. The good news is that there are natural remedies out there to help you deal with this annoying aesthetic problem.

Natural remedies that make good treatments for melasma

  • Homemade remedy with bananas: mash up one banana and put this puree on your dark spots for 15 minutes. Repeat this procedure four times per week. Rinse it off with warm water.
  • Homemade remedy with eggplant: slice one eggplant and take out the pulp. Make a compress or poultice and put it on your skin. Keep it there for 15 minutes and then rinse it with water. You can do this three times per week.
  • Homemade remedy with black balsam: Add some drops of black balsam to one egg white (4 or 5 drops should be enough). Beat this mixture well and apply it to your dark spots twice per day, once in the morning and once at night.
  • Homemade remedy with hydrogen peroxide: wipe a cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide on your face before going to bed.
  • Dark spot elimination mask: mix two tablespoons of powdered milk, 4 tablespoons of bee honey and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice until it forms a homogeneous paste. Spread it on your face and keep it there for about 20 minutes. Wash and apply a layer of natural yogurt. Allow it to act for 10 more minutes and rinse.
  • Homemade remedy with onion and vinegar: crush one onion and mix it with a bit of vinegar. Apply this mixture to the dark spots and keep it there for 15 minutes. If it starts burning or if your skin feels irritated, rinse it off immediately.

woman taking photo of dark spots

Tips for melasma

  • People with family members who had issues with dark spots or melasma should take added precautions because this is a hereditary disorder. Avoid the sun and always wear a high SPF sunscreen whenever you’re going to spend the day outside. Try to avoid birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.

pills spread on table

  • You have to be very careful when deciding on treatments for melasma, even if they’re homemade remedies. If they’re strong or abrasive, they could have the opposite effect and make the situation worse.
  • Dark spots appear more often in women between the ages of 20 and 50.
  • There is no definitive cure for melasma. But it is possible to reduce the appearance and color of the spots, which can come back with your next pregnancy, if you start taking birth control again, or if you expose your skin to the sun everyday.
  • Dark spots aren’t a major medical issue: there aren’t other symptoms, and they don’t cause any harm. The main problem is the way they change your appearance.
  • In some cases, dark spots go away without treatment, for example, after you give birth.
  • There are professional treatments out there for eliminating melasma or dark spots, including microdermabrasion, chemical exfoliation, and laser therapies. These treatments are only advised in the most severe or advanced cases.
  • The best way to treat dark spots is by visiting a dermatologist and not letting too much time go by because you can improve your appearance in a matter of weeks.

Images courtesy of Sicchickk 71, Edwin & Telly Tofslie, trec_lit, Ophelie Baudelaire, Michael Chen, Greg Peverill Conti.