Dermatologist reveals how to remove pigmentation from your face

When a patch or spot on your skin is either lighter or darker than your overall skin tone, it is called pigmentation. Pigmentation is of two types – hyperpigmentation (aka when the spots or patches on your skin are darker than your skin) or hypopigmentation (aka when the spots or patches on your skin are lighter than your skin).

Hyperpigmentation is predominant when it comes to our facial skin. Decoding the type of pigmentation you have is quite essential, to effectively treat the area. Dr Manasi Shirolikar, a Consultant Dermatologist says that the three common types of facial pigmentation, most often seen on Indian skin are:

1. Tanning

2. PIH (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation)

3. Melasma


Tanning is the skin’s response to damage by the UVA and UVB sun rays. UVA rays cause darkening or pigmentation that lasts only for a couple of days, whereas UVB rays cause pigmentation that can last for months. In the case of tanning, your overall face and skin can get tanned, as opposed to just patches. 

Detans are extremely popular in the country, to remove the pigmentation caused due to tanning. However, from a dermatologist’s POV, to deal with tanning, I would recommend you:

– Nourish the already damaged skin with a lot of moisturisers and sunscreens

– Use moisturisers containing anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E 

– Use an exfoliating moisturiser made with a gentle exfoliant like Lactic Acid

– Use Vitamin C-based products

– Use Tranexamic Acid based products

– Use Alpha Arbutin-based products

– Use Azelaic Acid based products

– Use Kojic Acid based products

– Use Licorice based products

– Use Glycolic Acid based products

– Exfoliate your face with an AHA (do not go above 15%) once a week


PIH is pigmentation that occurs post-infection or injury to the skin. It occurs when the skin ends up producing extra melanin due to the infection or the injury.

The most common PIH seen on the face is post-acne hyperpigmentation, also more popularly known as dark spots or acne…

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