Blemishes on the face can be due to various reasons. There may be dark spots, scars and pits on the skin, left behind by acne. Or, there may be dark patches or dark spots on the skin, due to sun-sensitivity. The treatments for such problems depend on the nature of the problem and on the skin type. An acne-prone skin is usually oily and should therefore be treated accordingly. A skin with sun-sensitivity is usually on the dry side, although an oily skin may also develop hyper-pigmentation. Skin care should be according to skin type.
Let’s take the dark spots and scars caused by acne. In fact, acne may also leave tiny holes in the skin. These are difficult to remove, since the pits form due to the destruction of skin tissue. The skin also gets a premature aged look. Sometimes, there is extra growth of scar tissue, developing into “keloids.” The result of this kind of scarring is that the skin becomes uneven and loses its smooth texture.
Among the treatments for acne scars are laser therapy, microdermabrasion, chemical peeling, etc. Due to the risks involved in chemical peels, I devised Veg Peel treatments to minimize acne scars. These are clinical treatments, based on dermabrasion, i.e. gently rubbing the skin with some grainy substances formulated with plant extracts. It may take 4 to 6 weeks to see a difference. In cases of extensive scarring, it may take more time, as several sessions may be needed. If there are pimples and acne, they have to be treated first. Some home remedies may also help. If there are no pimples, acne or rash, mix rice powder with curd and apply on the face. Rub gently on the skin with small circular movements, especially on the areas with acne marks. Then leave it on for five minutes and wash off with plenty of plain water. Or, mix oats with egg white and apply on the face. When it dries, wet it with water and gently rub the skin the same way. Wash off with plain water. Do these scrub treatments twice a week.
Use face mask once or twice a week. Mix 3 teaspoons oats with egg white and one teaspoon each of curd and honey. Apply on the face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off after half an hour. Dried and powdered lemon and orange peels or ground almonds can also be added to the pack.
Take two teaspoons curd, add a pinch of turmeric (haldi) and apply daily on the face, washing it off after 15 minutes. This helps marks and also softens the skin.
Never pick pimples or blackheads with the nails. This can also leave marks on the skin.
For dark patches or spots caused by sun-exposure, the first aspect is sun protection with the application of sunscreens with a high SPF. The sunscreen should be applied about 20 minutes before sun-exposure, to allow it time to be absorbed by the skin. It should be reapplied if you are in the sun for longer than an hour at a stretch. The effects of the sun increase near water bodies and snow, as they reflect the sun’s radiation. Therefore, it becomes all the more important to protect the skin and re-apply the sun screen after 20 to 30 minutes.
As far as home remedies are concerned, we can recommend the use of facial scrubs twice a week. Apply it on the dark patches and rub gently on the skin with tiny circular movements. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply daily only on the dark patches. Wash off after 15 minutes with plain water.
Fruit masks also help hyperpigmentation. Mix ripe papaya pulp with grated cucumber, tomato pulp, curd, lemon juice and ground almonds (badaam). Apply the pack daily on the face and wash it off after half an hour. The pack not only lightens skin colour, but also revitalizes the skin and removes dead cells.
Even when the pigmented patches disappear, one should continue to use a sunscreen. In fact, the use of a sunscreen has become an important part of modern cosmetic-care, to protect the skin from problems and premature ageing.