Do you have dark spots or pigmentation marks on your face that do not fade away easily? Do you constantly worry about these dark spots and try covering them up with make-up? If you are tense with these situations, then it is time to understand your skin better and identify a solution to get rid of your dark spots.
From age spots and freckles to scarring, many things can make your complexion look uneven. Most of these harmless, uneven skin might prompt many people to try various skin lightening products.
Dark spots on the face, or hyperpigmentation, might occur when some areas of your skin produce more melanin than usual. Melanin gives your eyes, skin, and hair their color.
Dark spots on your skin are not a cause for concern and do not need treatment. However, many of you may choose to remove them for cosmetic reasons. Depending on the cause, a few of these dark spots are called age spots or sunspots.
Discussed below are the causes of dark spots on the face and how people can remove them using dermatological treatments and home remedies.
What Do You Mean by Dark Spots on Face?
Every problem has a root cause, and hence it is essential to get to the bottom of the condition to treat it. So you basically need to understand why your skin develops dark spots.
You may have heard about your skin’s natural pigment called melanin that is present just beneath your skin. This pigment is responsible for the color of your skin, eyes, and even your hair. Every person has the same number of cells that produce melanin. The only difference in how these cells behave that result in different colored skin among individuals.
Melanin also protects your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Whenever your skin is exposed to the sun, the cells that produce melanin increase their production of melanin. And sometimes, they go into overdrive that results in the production of more melanin than usual, resulting in dark spots.
Dark Spots on Face – Symptoms
Your dark spots on the face can range from dark brown to light brown. The color of dark spots primarily depends on your skin. These dark spots are of the same texture as your skin and are not painful.
Dark spots also vary in size and can also develop on other parts of your body apart from your face. They are most common in areas often exposed to the sun.
Dark spots are common in the face, shoulders, back and back of the hands. If you have darker skin, a dark spot that is a few shades darker than your skin would usually fade away within 8 to 12 months. Whereas deeper coloration can take months or years to fade. They might appear blue or grey, though a spot may also be a much darker brown than your natural skin color.
Causes of Dark Spots on Face
There are many different causes of dark spots. But they are caused when certain parts of your skin produce more melanin than the other areas. Some of the most common reasons behind dark spots are as follows:
1 Hormonal changes
Melasma is a commonly occurring skin condition or skin disease that leads to small patches of skin discoloration. These dark patches are usually noticed on the cheeks or forehead. This condition is mostly found in women and is prevalent after pregnancy. According to the American Academy of Dermatology your hormones trigger this skin condition, melasma.
2 Sun damage
Also known as sunspots, solar lentigines, freckles or liver spots, you can develop dark spots on your face and other parts of the body after being exposed to the sun. If you expose your skin to the harmful UV rays of the sun it can cause dark spots to appear on your face. Your areas of the body that receive the most sun exposure, such as your face, arms or hands are most likely to develop sun spots.
3 Medication side effects
Certain medications can increase your skin pigmentation and lead to dark spots. The most common are the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), psychotropic and tetracyclines drugs, which produce the reactions.
4 Inflammation – Dark spots can develop after a pronounced period of inflammation on the skin. The inflammation can occur for various other reasons that include acne, eczema, psoriasis and injury to the skin.
5 Wound healing – Your dark spots might remain after an insect bite, burn, or cut heals. These will only fade with time.
6 Diabetes – Diabetes can cause areas of the skin to become darker. Common conditions associated with diabetes include acanthosis nigricans. It is a fairly common skin pigmentation disorder that causes darkened, velvety skin.
How to Remove Dark Spots on Face
Dark spots on your face and skin do not generally require treatment. But some of you might want to remove the spots for cosmetic reasons. Your dermatologist can offer procedures or creams to lighten dark spots, or in some cases, remove them.
Most of these medical procedures are more expensive than creams. Besides, they are more likely to cause side effects, though they tend to work faster. Your best treatment option might depend on the cause, the size of your dark spot, and the area of the face or body.
Your dermatologist or doctor might recommend one of the following treatments for dark spots on your face:
1 Laser treatment
Different types of lasers are available for treating dark spots. The most common laser to treat dark spots on the skin uses an intense pulse light laser. The intense light will target melanin and break up the dark spots.
During microdermabrasion, your dermatologist uses a special device that has an abrasive surface to remove the outer layer of the skin. This treatment will promote new collagen growth, which helps in the reduction of dark spots.
3 Chemical peels
A chemical peel involves applying a solution to your skin. Resulting in exfoliation of the surface, leading to new skin growth. It may gradually fade dark spots on your face.
Cryotherapy is another process for removing dark spots. The procedure involves applying liquid nitrogen to the dark patches to freeze them, which actually injures the skin cells. The skin often heals afterwards.
5 Prescription skin-lightening cream
Prescribed skin lightening cream works by bleaching your skin. It works gradually and takes several months to decrease the appearance of your dark spots. Hydroquinone is the active ingredient in creams that prevent your skin from producing melanin. Prescription products generally tend to have a strength of 3 to 4 percent.
Injectable skin lightening products are also available, but the FDA does not recommend them. Even there is not enough evidence to suggest that they work. They are actually not skin rash and hence are not itchy. They might even have associated health risks.
Home Remedies – Dark Spots on Face
In addition to prescription medications and dermatological procedures, you may find that some home remedies might fade dark spots on the face, as discussed in the following section.
1 Over-the-counter cream
Over-the-counter skin creams are effective in lightening your skin and are not as strong as prescription medications. Most of the creams and serums contain ingredients like retinol or alpha hydroxy acid, which help to speed up the exfoliation of your skin. Which finally results in promoting new skin growth. You should get a skin-lightening cream recommended by your dermatologist, as some products available can be harmful.
2 Natural Remedies
Products with certain natural ingredients could help treat dark spots on your skin. Researchers published clinical studies that used natural products to treat dark spots. They reviewed several ingredients, including niacinamide (a form of vitamin B-3), licorice extracts, soy and mulberry.
Although these studies are limited, the researchers said that many natural treatments showed promise results in lightening hyperpigmentation. One study suggests that applying an aloe vera gel to your skin could help reduce melasma during pregnancy.
You might be knowing that cosmetics do not lighten dark spots but they can cover them up. You can consider using a cream-based concealer to decrease the appearance of your dark spots.
Preventing Dark Spots on Face
According to stats, the effects of skin lightening products are minimal when you compare the risks. The best solution is to avoid skin damage. If you follow a skin care routine of your spots even after you have them, it will help them from worsening.
The best solution to fade away dark spots is to protect your skin from the sun. Try using products with ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, else your spots can come back even after removal. Your dermatologist will suggest the best options having the least risk.
In most cases, your dark spots on the face are not a cause of concern, except for cosmetic reasons. They are usually harmless and do not need treatment. However, you should visit your doctor if any of these dark patches on the skin either bleeds, itches, tingles or changes colour or size. Your doctor will surely do a patch test before deciding the treatment.
Your dermatologist will decide whether cosmetic procedures or using over-the-counter products is the best option. Home remedies and healthy skincare habits are for everyone, but you should consult your doctor before trying out the medical procedures. The effectiveness of your treatment might depend on the cause of the dark spots and their extent. Dark spots on your face may not completely disappear. It might take a while to see a difference, but treatment will lighten your spots.