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White scars, or ‘hypopigmented’ scars, are due to a reduction in the number of melanocytes, the cells responsible for making melanin. Some of the most common causes of hypopigmentation are burns, illness, and injury. This condition which is marked by a loss of skin coloring is more common in people with darker skin tones. Many dermatologists recommend treatments like IPL or the application of topical creams that contain medications such as retinoids, steroids, and hydroquinone. However, there are natural alternatives like using ginger for hypopigmentation
One of the most recent studies in this area provides evidence for a potential new treatment, ginger for hypopigmentation (Zametkin et al., 2014). Researchers examined its safety and efficacy in reducing discolorations caused by injuries in 50 patients with skin types IV to VI. The participants were assigned to either a control group or a treatment group. The control group received no treatment. The participants in the treatment group were given a 0.5% (w/w) topical ginger solution to apply twice daily for at least four months after being injured. Patients kept a record of any adverse effects and their progress, which was assessed every three months with photographs and a clinical score.
The researchers found that participants who were given the ginger solution had a larger decrease in their scores and reported fewer adverse effects than those who did not receive treatment, leading them to conclude that ginger has “safe and significant” benefits for people with hypopigmentation (Zetkin et al., 2014).
It’s no surprise that ginger can have this effect on the skin. When you break down the properties of ginger, it’s the chemicals found within ginger that make this root so beneficial for skin conditions. The compounds responsible for its benefits are:
- gingerol, which is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It helps to speed up wound healing and protect the skin from damage due to free radicals and UV radiation, and also soothes irritated skin. These properties make it excellent for use on eczema, psoriasis, sunburns, and abrasions.
- shogaol is another chemical found in ginger that has anti-inflammatory benefits as well as antioxidant properties. However, shogaol has a much more warming effect on the skin. This makes it wonderful for conditions like acne; since many acne treatments can leave behind red marks and residual irritation, shogaol is great at soothing these effects.
- zingerone has antibacterial properties that help to fight off infections within pimples. Zingerone also works to reduce pain and itching caused by blemishes.
Ultimately, these compounds work in conjunction to provide even more benefits for the skin than any one of them alone. By addressing many different issues within the blemishes on our skin, ginger can be a great addition to your skincare routine. Its natural and effective properties make it an excellent choice when compared with products that contain harsh chemicals.
Ginger has been used to treat scars for hundreds of years. Ginger has both antioxidant qualities and a toning effect, making it useful in the treatment of hypopigmented or white scars.
Benefits of Ginger for Hypopigmentation
Hypopigmentation is often caused by inflammation, whether this is due to sun exposure, acne, or overproduction of melanin. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce the redness and swelling associated with these conditions.
The white scars or hypopigmentation that can form after acne or injury are often caused by bacteria. Ginger is naturally antibacterial, so it’s able to fight off the infection and help your skin heal without leaving behind any nasty side effects.
The antioxidant properties of ginger mean that it can speed up wound healing by neutralizing free radicals within the body. Hypopigmentation scars are often caused by injuries, so ginger can work to speed up its fading.
Chronic inflammation is one of the main causes of accelerated aging, as well as the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Hypopigmentation often occurs due to chronic inflammation within the skin, so it can help to reduce existing signs of aging. By helping your skin heal itself and fight off damage before it begins, ginger is a great candidate for anti-aging products.
Zinc deficiency in the body often leads to a dull-looking complexion and blemishes. Zinc is involved in the synthesis of collagen, so it’s important for skin with stretch marks or scars as well. Ginger is a great source of zinc, making it perfect for skin that needs some extra help in this area.
Ginger is often used to treat blisters and wounds to reduce symptoms like pain, itching, swelling, and inflammation. Using ginger creams or gels can help heal scars by reducing symptoms associated with scarring. Again, antioxidants are known for their ability to repair damage caused by free radicals that break down collagen and elastin. This leaves scars looking discolored and patchy.
Ginger can also help with skin pigmentation, but it has much more mild effects than other treatments like hydroquinone and vitamin c or derivatives of those chemicals. These are highly effective at removing spots on the skin caused by melasma, sun damage, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, but they also come with more risks
How To Use Ginger for Hypopigmentation
Ginger can be used in many different ways to treat hypopigmentation. From topical solutions like oils and lotions that are easy to apply directly to scars, to foods and drinks that can help manage conditions that contribute to this condition, ginger is a great way to treat hypopigmentation.
Dab some fresh ginger wherever you are experiencing hypopigmentation and allow the juice to dry. Do this once or twice a day, every day, and you should notice an improvement in a few weeks. Within a few months, your scars will be almost unnoticeable.
Topical Ginger Salve Recipe
- 2 tablespoons ginger root, grated
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
- A few drops of essential oil for scent (optional)
- Place the coconut or olive oil into a small saucepan and heat until it’s warm, but not boiling.
- Add the ginger to the pan and simmer for 25 minutes on low.
- Allow the ginger and oil to cool completely before straining into a container with a lid.
- Apply this cream to the scar 2-3 times per day.
Other Ginger Methods
Ginger lotion – Massaging ginger into your skin can help reduce inflammation and redness caused by conditions like acne. It can also help with itching from dry skin, as well as reduce the appearance of scars connected to those conditions.
Ginger oil – The antioxidant properties in ginger make it a powerful topical treatment that is perfect for fighting damage caused by free radicals. You can rub ginger oil into your skin or add a little to your bathwater. By adding small amounts of ginger oil to recipes for homemade body scrubs, you can help reduce the appearance of scars and discoloration without any risk.
Ginger can also be taken orally in foods like juices, teas, and smoothies. It is less effective when it has to travel through the digestive system before hitting the skin (which is what makes supplements not as effective), but they do provide some added benefits.
Side Effects of Using Ginger for Hypopigmentation
Using ginger topically or orally can cause side effects in some people. If you’re allergic to ginger, it could cause serious skin irritation, develop into a rash, or produce dangerous anaphylactic shock if consumed
As always, make sure you’re not allergic to ginger before applying it topically to your skin. If you notice redness, pain or itching discontinue use immediately!