Common causes and best treatment for dark skin spots
Essentially, the dark spots you may have noticed on your skin are also known as hyperpigmentation, which is usually caused by the excessive production of melanin in that area. Melanin is responsible for the color of your hair, eyes and skin. These spots usually range from light to dark brown, but the color mainly depends on the person’s skin tone in general. Most often, they tend to occur on one’s face, shoulders, back and back of the hands. These are not painful or dangerous, but there is adequate treatment for the spots if one wants to remove them for cosmetic reasons.
Most common causes of dark spots
There’s more than just one possible cause for dark spots showing up on your skin. In general, the biggest causes for this condition include sun damage, hormonal changes, medication side effects, inflammation and irritation as well as wound healing and diabetes.
When your skin is exposed to damaging sun rays outdoors or in tanning beds, it’s not uncommon for dark spots to appear as a result, especially on your face, arms and hands.
Hormonal changes, especially in women during pregnancy, can trigger the condition called melasma, which causes pigmentation spots.
Unfortunately, certain meds can also increase the production of melatonin, thus causing the dark spots to appear.
Inflammation due to different skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne can also leave skin with dark spots. Irritation caused by certain cosmetic products can end up with the same result.
When you sustain an injury such as a burn, cut or insect bite, these may leave a trace on the skin in the form of a dark spot. These particular spots can fade over time.
Finally, people suffering from diabetes are at risk of hyperpigmentation in certain areas of their body.
Ways to treat dark spots
As mentioned, dark spots are not really dangerous but if you want to remove these due to cosmetic reasons, it’s still important to discuss your best options with the dermatologists. Depending on the size, cause and area of the body where the spots are located, you might benefit more from using topical products or you could require an actual removal procedure.
Skin lightening and resurfacing products
These particular creams and other skin care products contain active ingredients that prevent the skin from producing melanin. In general, brown spots fade thanks to the resurfacing and sometimes even bleaching properties of the product after a couple of months of regular use.
There are plenty of different types of laser treatments nowadays that can effectively remove dark spots from the skin by breaking them up. The most popular in this regard is an intense pulse light laser.
When it comes to microdermabrasion, the dermatologist will use a device with a slightly abrasive surface in order to remove the top layer of the skin. This will boost the production of collagen and minimize the appearance of dark spots.
A chemical solution is applied to the skin and works by exfoliating the treated surface, which leads to new skin growth and dark spots fading.
Liquid nitrogen is applied directly to spots in order to freeze the darkened skin. This injures the area but the healed skin tends to become lighter afterwards.
It’s true that you can get over-the-counter products that are meant for skin lightening and spots fading, but these are usually not as strong as prescription products. Also, you can try out natural remedies such as niacinamide (a form of vitamin B-3), soy, licorice extracts, and mulberry. However, stay away from popular yet very harmful natural skin whitening remedies such as lemon and apple cider vinegar.