How to Treat Dark Spots on Face

Dark spots on face are characterized by a darkening of an area of skin, which is caused by the overproduction of melanin. It’s relatively harmless and fairly common, but for cosmetic reasons it can be difficult to deal with. Either one of two things will occur when dark spots on face appear: when the melanocytes are hyperactive or an abnormally high concentration of melanocytes produce melanin.  The exposure to UV rays will stimulate the production of melanin. While it can affect anyone, regardless of their ethnicity, this type of skin condition tends to be more prevalent among ethnicities such as Latin, African, Mediterranean and Asian.

Dark Spots on Face

What are the Causes of Dark Spots on Face?

There are several causes of dark spots on face, including overexposure of UV rays, heredity, sun damage, hormonal changes, picking at the skin, certain medications, hormone treatments, skin injuries and inflammation of the skin.

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At times it can be difficult to distinguish between hyperpigmentation and acne scars. However, some scars caused by acne are actually not truly acne scars, but a type of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If a scar develops from an acne lesion and does not diminish or fade within one year, then chances are that it’s a true scar. In other words, if it’s permanent, it’s a scar, but if it fades over the period of a few months, it’s a type of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Wearing sunscreen that’s at least thirty SPF and waiting thirty to sixty minutes before leaving the house can help you to avoid further dark spots on face. If you have dry or sensitive skin it’s recommended that you exfoliate twice a week, in order to remove the build-up of dead skin cells.

Hyperpigmentation Treatment Options

You can minimize the appearance of dark spots on face if you follow a customized skin care regimen.  In addition to using sunscreen, there are specific ingredients to look for in a skincare product that will help to treat hyperpigmentation, such as lactic acid and glycolic acid. Alpha hydroxyl acids can help to remove the build-up of dead skin cells that are already saturated with pigment, which will work to lessen discoloration. A series of mild alpha hydroxyl acid chemical peels can help to lighten dark spots on face. For severe cases, consult a healthcare professional who will be able to determine the type of treatment that’s best for you.

Different Types of Hyperpigmentation

That are several types of hyperpigmentation, such as Melasma, solar lentigines and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Melisma is thought to be caused by changes in hormone levels. It will commonly develop during pregnancy. Solar lentigines are related to excessive exposure to UV rays over a period of time. Typically, they appear as dark spots on areas of the body that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as the face and hands. Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation will be a result of an injury to the skin.

Common causes of dark spots on face is excess production of melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives the skin its color. It’s produced by skin cells that are referred to as melanocytes. Many different factors or conditions can alter the production of melanin.

There are certain medications that can cause hyperpigmentation, such as antibiotics or chemotherapy drugs.

Addison’s disease can also cause skin discoloration. This disease will affect hormone production and adrenal glands. The changes in hormone levels can increase the production of melanin.

A physician or specialist can diagnose hyperpigmentation. An exam and medical history can help to determine the cause of your skin discoloration, which will help the physician to pinpoint effective treatment options. In some cases a dermatologist will need to take a skin biopsy in order to rule out the possibility of skin cancer.

While there are over the counter lightening creams available, these are usually designed to treat minor cases of skin discoloration. For more severe cases, a healthcare professional can prescribe a higher strength formula lightening cream, which will work by bleaching the skin. This type of medication can take two to three months to effectively lighten the dark spots on face. Some doctors might also suggest laser therapy treatments, if the lightening cream proves to be ineffective. Laser therapy treatments or microdermabrasion treatments are designed to remove the top layer of the skin, allowing new skin to take its place. These types of cosmetic procedures can also promote new collagen growth, which will also help to minimize the appearance of skin discoloration and scars. The effectiveness of these procedures can depend on the severity of the skin discoloration and each individual will typically require three to six sessions before noticing an improvement.

Hyperpigmentation is not considered life threatening or a sign of a serious medical condition. In some cases, darkened areas of the skin will fade on their own and won’t require treatment. In other cases, treatment is necessary for cosmetic reasons.