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Foods That Can Help Reduce Skin Pigmentation

by Dr Wan Chee Kwang
November 4, 2022

While hyperpigmentation is not a skin condition that requires urgent medical care, you will see small patches of your skin turning darker, potentially driving you to seek pigmentation removal treatment.

Hyperpigmentation contributes to the overall sense of aging, making you look older than you are. In this article, we share about what happens to the skin when hyperpigmentation occurs, what causes it, and whether certain foods can help.

What are the causes and triggers of hyperpigmentation?

Photo of the Sun

Pigmentation of the human skin is generally a good thing. The melanin in our skin protects us from getting sunburnt. In some cases, skin pigment helps us to stave off skin cancer from excessive UV exposure. While this melanin gives us our skin tone, it also causes hyperpigmentation when our melanocytes are triggered to produce more melanin than usual.

Some key triggers of hyperpigmentation are:

  • Sun exposure: Excessive sun exposure can trigger an increase in melanin production hence the importance of using proper sunscreen with high enough SPF (sun protection factor) is crucial.
  • Pregnancy: changes in hormone levels can affect melanin production in some women.
  • Hormonal diseases: Rare endocrine diseases like Addison’s disease can cause hyperpigmentation.
  • Skin inflammation: Dark spots can show up after some injury to the skin, for example, after acne.

Does diet affect hyperpigmentation?

People eating

What we eat can affect whether we produce more or less of the hormones that affect melanin production. Food intake can also affect whether melanin production is interrupted, or in other cases, trigger additional production.

For example, the keto diet may induce a rare inflammatory skin condition known as prurigo pigmentosa. This skin condition comes with an itchy rash and gives off a netlike hyperpigmentation appearance on the skin.

As certain foods increase hyperpigmentation, others can reduce hyperpigmentation.

Foods That Can Help Reduce Hyperpigmentation

Good nutrition is the key to good health, and this is just as true for people who want to reduce their hyperpigmentation issues. When it comes to dealing with dark spots on the skin, there are some foods that help more than others. Let’s take a closer look at some of these food items.

Pomegranate

Pomegranate phenolics have been found to help treat hyperpigmentation, among other skin issues. Studies have shown that pomegranate helps to suppress cellular melanogenesis (the production of melanin pigment) through the inhibition of an enzyme called tyrosinase..

Tomatoes

Tomatoes offer a variety of B vitamins that have anti-aging properties that contribute to cell repair. Tomatoes can help reduce age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles, while also reducing hyperpigmentation and sun damage.

To compliment your intake of tomatoes, you can consider using Crystal Tomato supplements that also help reduce pigmentation.

Green Veggies

Green vegetables like kale, broccoli, and spinach contain something called carotenoids, which are beneficial antioxidants that help to protect you from hyperpigmentation by filtering out UV radiation and reducing oxidative stress in the skin.

For carotenoid supplements, you can look for those containing lutein and zeaxanthin as they are known to block the formation of melanin pathways and increase antioxidants.

Fatty Fish

Omega-3 is often held up as an important polyunsaturated fatty acid for general health. However, it can also help reduce hyperpigmentation in a few ways. Omega-3 can help speed up healing and reduce inflammation, countering post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Additionally, there is evidence that it can inhibit melanin production, helping to prevent sun-induced hyperpigmentation.

Avocados

Avocados provide monounsaturated fats to help keep cells healthy, and are rich in phytochemicals to protect skin from damage.

Seeds and Nuts

Some seeds and nuts have been found to be rich sources of fatty acids, polyphenols, and antioxidants like Vitamin E. Almonds, for example, may contribute to the improvement of wrinkles and skin pigmentation. Other seeds and nuts that may help hyperpigmentation include chia seeds, walnuts, and flax seeds.

We can help!

While food intake plays an important role in your skin’s health and in addressing hyperpigmentation, it is not the most comprehensive solution. You should undergo a detailed examination by a qualified doctor, who will then arrive at a suitable treatment based on your skin type, scar type, and budget.

If you want a proper and long-term answer to your hyperpigmentation issues, 1Aesthetic Medical & Surgery can provide you with the necessary diagnosis and treatment. Call us at 66125173, or WhatsApp us at 84899962.

References

  1. Mayuree, K., Wichayada, C., Puxvadee, C., & Nattaya, L. (2020). Phenolic-rich Pomegranate Peel Extract: In Vitro, Cellular, and In Vivo Activities for Skin Hyperpigmentation Treatment. Planta Med., 749-759.
  2. Tse-Hung, H., Pei-Wen, W., Shih-Chun, Y., Wei-Ling, C., & Jia-You, F. (2018). Cosmetic and Therapeutic Applications of Fish Oil’s Fatty Acids on the Skin. Marine Drugs, 256.
  3. Iryna, R., Alexis E., C., Simran, D., Aliza, H., Hera, W., Waqas, B., Raja K., S. (2021). Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effects of Almonds on Facial Wrinkles and Pigmentation. Nutrients, 785.
  4. Mount Sinai. (n.d.). Skin - abnormally dark or light. Retrieved from Mount Sinai: https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/symptoms/skin-abnormally-dark-or-light
  5. Healthline. (2018, August 22). What You Should Know About Hyperpigmentation. Retrieved from Healthline.com: https://www.healthline.com/health/hyperpigmentation

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