We all have had our share of blotchy skin – those colored patches spread out over our skin. Blotchy skin usually affects the face and the neck, but can also appear on the arms or other parts of the body, especially those exposed to the sun. While there is a tendency to cover up the blotches with makeup, especially for those with a hectic lifestyle, more often than not this tends to aggravate the problem, and should be avoided.
So what is blotchy skin exactly?
Medically known as melasma, blotchy skin is an affliction that deteriorates your skin. The major symptom of this affliction is red skin patches that can appear in localized regions, or all over the body. The skin gets blotchy when melatocytes, the pigment producing cells, start to unevenly produce the pigment, known as melanin. As a result, some cells produce a lot of melanin at once, while the others don’t. Due to this, patches of various shades start appearing on the skin, surrounded by pale areas, resulting in an uneven skin tone. Different colours of patches are often indicative of different root causes.
Causes of blotchy skin
So what causes blotchy skin? Reasons can be many, starting from bad lifestyle habits to something serious like skin diseases or genetic disorders. Some of them are listed below:
1. Over-exfoliating Your Skin
The root cause of many skin problems lies with accumulated dirt and dead skin cells on the skin, especially on our face. Because of this, there is often the risk that you’ll go overboard with exfoliating, especially after a long day. When it comes to exfoliation, one needs to be very careful, and avoid products containing rough exfoliators like kernels and seeds. Exfoliating just a few times a week with products having microbeads and sugars is the best option.
2. Using harsh bar soaps and other fragranced products
Human skin comes with its own natural defenses like natural oils, ceramides, and healthy fatty acids. Using harsh soaps and scented products, especially on the soft skin of the face, weakens the defenses, leaving it exposed to attacks from sunlight and bacteria, causing redness of skin. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can also cause darkening and eczema.
With increased heart rate and temperature, there is increased blood flow to the vital organs, including the skin, which can lead to blotches, especially if there is internal bleeding. However, purple blotchy skin can also be symptomatic of the more serious blood clotting disorder.
4. Drinking red wine
The alcohol and sulfites used as preservatives in the wine dilate the tiny blood vessels on the face, making more blood rise to the surface. Also, red wine can lead to rosacea.
When it comes to exposure to UV rays, there is nothing called being too careful, as this can cause brown spots to form on the skin. Here are some suggestions:-
• Use an SPF 30 sunscreen (at the least)
• Use an antioxidant serum in the morning
• You can take a prescription-strength retinol at night (only after consulting your physician).
• Avoid exposure to rays from the computer and your phone
Then there are injuries and infections like hives, eczema and contact dermatitis. However, the most serious of the causes could be lupus, an autoimmune disease, and genetic problems.
Whatever be the cause, it is always advisable to consult a physician instead of self-treating blotchy skin, because the splotches can be indicative of bigger problems.
10 Home Remedies for Treating Blotchy Skin
Here are 10 easy to do remedies for blotchy skin for those always on the run. All the ingredients listed here are available easily in the market. However, it must be remembered that these should never be used as an alternative to medicines prescribed by a skin care professional.Remedies for red blotchy skin on face:
1. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is soothing and anti-inflammatory, and its moisturizing properties can go a long way in removing skin blotches and their causes like acne, pigmentation, sunburns and age spots. To get going, extract the pure aloe vera gel from the leaf and apply it on your face with your fingers. Leave it on for 15 minutes at least and then wash with cold water. Repeat this 2 to 3 times daily.
Oatmeal is also a great natural moisturizer, and its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties are a good cure for those red spots that cause itchiness. Here are some of the ways in which oatmeal can be used for blotchy skin:
a. Apply a mixture of cooked oatmeal and organic honey on the affected region.
b. Cook 2 tbsps of oatmeal in ½ cup of milk, then add 2 tbsps of honey to the mixture. On cooling, apply the mask on your face and neck, and leave it on for around 20 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water. Finally, apply cold water to close the pores.
c. Mix 2 tbsps of ground oatmeal, 2-3 tbsps of warm water or tomato juice, and ½ tbsp of honey. Apply this mixture over the patches. After 5 minutes, massage your skin with wet fingers. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
3. Banana face mask
This works best for those with dry to normal skin, because banana is a heavy moisturizer. It is also a great exfoliator, and its anti-oxidant properties are very effective in treating acnes and blotchy skin rashes.Mix ½ cup of olive or almond oil, an egg yolk, ½ tbsp of lemon and a mashed ripe banana on a bowl. Spread it out on your face and let it remain for 20 to 30 minutes. Wash off with clean water.
4. Peach face mask
This mask should be used by those with oily skin, as its anti-oxidant properties make it very good at opening clogged pores. Puree the peach in a blender or mash it with a fork, and with 2 tbsps of the puree, mix 1 tbsp of honey, 1 tbsp of lemon juice and 2 tbsps of milk powder. Apply the mixture on your face and wash it off 15 minutes later with lukewarm water.
5. Baking soda
Baking soda is one of those soft exfoliators that remove dead skin cells and open up clogged pores. Apply a thick paste of 2-3 tbsps of baking soda and water on your patches. Scrub it gently for a few minutes with your fingertips before rinsing with lukewarm water. Pat dry your skin, do not rub. Then apply a light moisturizer or aloe vera gel. Do this at least twice weekly.
Cucumber helps your skin in ways more than one. In addition to having several antioxidant compounds to reduce inflammation, the pantothenic acid present in them helps in retaining skin moisture. Also, the vitamin C in it is very good for the skin and helps in regeneration of skin cells.
a. Apply an even mixture of cucumber and lemon juices on the affected areas and leave it on for at least 20 minutes before rinsing with cool water. Do this twice daily.
b. Puree pieces of peeled cucumber in the blender for 30 seconds. Then squeeze the juice out of it, before adding one and ½ tbsp of lavender essential oil in a cup of that juice. Apply it over the face and the neck and leave it on for 15 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water.
Honey acts by locking in skin moisture and thus is one of the best naturally occurring moisturizers. Its antioxidant properties soothe the skin and can be treated against uneven skin tone.
a. Rub some raw honey on the affected skin area and leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off. Do this twice daily.
b. Melt beeswax in a microwave over low heat. Then add equal parts of honey and olive oil before allowing the mixture to cool. Apply it over the affected area and let it be for around 10 minutes before washing it off. Repeat every alternate day.
The lactic acid that is produced by the bacteria in yogurt is such an effective exfoliator that it is also used in cosmetic products. It also makes yogurt a great natural treatment against blotchy skin caused by sun exposure or age spots.
a. Put on a thick layer of plain yogurt and let it remain for around half an hour before washing it off with lukewarm water. Do it twice daily.
b. Apply an even mixture of 1 tbsp of plain yogurt and 1 tbsp of turmeric powder on the affected area. Let it dry for at least half an hour before washing it off with warm water. Pat the skin dry. Do this at least thrice weekly.
9. Coconut oil
The fatty acids in coconut oil moisturize the skin by penetrating deep, and its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties make it very effective as a natural treatment of redness and inflammation, and blotches on legs and arms.
Warm some oil by rubbing it between your palms before applying it on the patches. Rub it gently over them for at least 5 minutes, before letting it seep into your skin. Do this twice or thrice everyday for best results.
10. Green tea
The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of green tea not only help get rid of those red patches, but also are a great help against swelling. Here are some ways to use it:
a. Add a few tablespoons of rice flour to ½ a cup of green tea prepared with warm water, and mix it well before applying it like a mask over the affected area. Leave it on for around 15 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water. Do this twice or thrice weekly.
b. Drinking 2 to 3 cups of iced green tea daily too goes a long way in keeping the skin healthy.
Vitamin E oil
This is a very good remedy for treating blotchy skin in any part of the body part. Not only does it moisturize your skin, but it also treats UV ray damage on your skin, being an antioxidant.
a. Mix the contents of 1 or 2 vitamin E capsules with 1 tbsp of castor oil and apply it on the affected area before turning in for the night. Wash it off the next morning and do this daily till the skin tone reverts to normal.
b. Massaging vitamin E oil for 15 to 20 minutes on the blotchy skin patches twice every day is also a good way of taking care of them.
To treat blotchy skin on the arms and legs, mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a cup of warm milk. Drink this daily.b.Putting milk compresses on the erythemic blotches, which are often purple (caused by hyperemia or increased blood flow in superficial capillaries) helps in reducing redness and inflammation.
This is perhaps the simplest and most soothing way of treating blotchy skin. Just put it on a cotton ball and dab it on your skin. You may wash it off after 15 to 20 minutes for a refreshing feeling. It rejuvenates your skin by regenerating dead skin cells, and its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties reduce redness.