My mom says black pepper can remove dark spots!

Black pepper is a common spice found in out kitchen. You can use it in your skin care routine too, especially if you have dark spots. Know how black pepper can help to get rid of dark spots.
black pepper
Black pepper may help to remove dark spots. Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 24 Dec 2023, 12:00 pm IST
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Dark spots are the areas on the skin that appear darker due to excess melanin production. Sun exposure is one of the causes of dark spots, and that explains why I ended up with dark spots! It’s winter, so I have been trying to soak up the sun as much as can. Sometimes I forget to wear a sunscreen, and so, my skin had to suffer. Interestingly, my mom told me to use black pepper to remove dark spots. And guess what? This home remedy did help to lighten the spots!

What are dark spots?

Hyperpigmentation is another name for dark spots. It is used to describe patches of skin that seem darker than the surrounding skin. These patches, which come in different hues and sizes, are usually the result of an overabundance of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour, says cosmetologist and skin expert Dr Jatin Mittal.

Woman touching her forehead
Remove dark spots the natural way. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the causes of dark spots?

As people get older, their skin may find it more difficult to heal and rejuvenate, which can lead to the development of dark patches. There are more causes for the occurrence of dark spots:

1. Sun exposure

Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can increase melanin synthesis, which can result in the development of black spots. These are commonly known as age spots or sunspots, explains Dr Mittal.

2. Acne or other skin injuries

Melanin production can be triggered by inflammation and healing processes, like those linked to acne or other skin lesions, which can lead to the formation of dark spots.

3. Hormonal variations

Dark spots may arise as a result of hormonal fluctuations, particularly during pregnancy. They may also pop up if you have birth control pills.

4. Liver disease

Liver-related issues can impact skin health and the body’s ability to process and remove toxins, says cosmetologist and aromatherapist Pooja Nagdev. This can lead to skin discolouration and the development of dark spots.

5. Medicines

Some medications such as certain antibiotics or antipsychotics, chemotherapy or antimalarial drugs may increase skin sensitivity. This can make people more prone to developing dark spots and may contribute to skin pigmentation changes.

For an accurate diagnosis and customised treatment plan, speak with a skin expert about the dark spots.

How does black pepper help to get rid of dark spots?

There isn’t scientific evidence to show that black pepper can treat dark spots. Although some of the components found in black pepper may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, says Dr Mittal. Black pepper contains piperine, a compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, adds Nagdev.

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When applied topically, it can help lighten dark spots by inhibiting melanin production. Piperine can stimulate blood flow, promoting skin regeneration and reducing pigmentation. Also, black pepper’s exfoliating properties may aid in removing dead skin cells, revealing fresher skin underneath.

How to use black pepper for dark spots?

The simple home remedy involves mixing ground black pepper with aloe vera gel, honey or yogurt to form a paste, which can be applied to dark spots. However, it is crucial to perform a patch test and avoid excessive use, as black pepper can be irritating for some people, warns Pooja Nagdev.

Black pepper
Black pepper is a home remedy for dark spots removal. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Who should avoid using black pepper for skin?

If you have sensitive skin, allergies or existing skin conditions, you should exercise caution when using black pepper topically. Piperine, the compound responsible for black pepper’s properties, may cause irritation, redness or an allergic reaction in some people. Those with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis may find that black pepper exacerbates their symptoms.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should also consult a doctor before using black pepper on the skin, as its safety in such situations is not well-established.

While natural remedies may offer benefits, consulting a dermatologist is advisable for personalised advice on treating dark spots. Some dark spots may fade on their own over time while others can be removed completely or lightened by using topical treatments. There are also cosmetic procedures such as laser treatment and chemical peels to remove dark spots.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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