Many skin conditions cause spots or patches on the skin. But dark spots on the face can be particularly frustrating to deal with since they don’t go away on their own and sometimes can’t be covered by concealer. It’s essential to identify what type of spots are on your face. This way, you can start to fix the problem and potentially get rid of them!
You might be asking what causes these spots to develop and whether they are the same thing. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about dark spots and scarring, which has led to a significant amount of confusion for sufferers. While most people tend to think that only sun exposure causes dark spots, it is also possible for other factors to be the causes of dark spots on the face.
Causes of dark spots on the face
Melasma is a condition that is caused by hormonal changes in women. It usually appears in the form of dark patches that appear on the cheeks or forehead and can commonly be found in women who have recently given birth.
Exposure to Sun
Prolonged exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun can cause dark spots on the face. Freckles, sunspots, liver spots, and solar lentigines are the most common skin spots caused by excessive exposure to sunlight. They develop when undue levels of melanin are produced by damaged skin cells. No doubt, people with lighter skin tone have lesser issues with skin discoloration but even fair-skinned women would occasionally deal with nagging skin blemishes that would leave behind unsightly dark spots on the face.
Medication side effects
Even if you’re using the proper medication for your ailment, you can still experience some side effects of taking them. Certain over-the-counter or prescription medications can cause skin discoloration, which is called hyperpigmentation. In addition, things like dark spots on the face and redness and itchiness are usually caused by certain pills.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs after inflammation of the skin. It is a brown to black discoloration and can occur after pimples or irritation and eczema.
Cosmetic procedure to cure dark spots on face
Chemical exfoliants are known for their ability to smooth and improve the appearance of the skin. Alpha hydroxy acid, azelaic acid, beta hydroxy acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid and mandelic acid are all used in medical treatments to reduce signs of sun damage, minimize pores, keep skin looking younger and improve overall tone.
Microdermabrasion is a procedure that removes dark spots on the face using small bits of aluminum oxide crystals or glass and diamond-tip probes. This treatment is non-invasive, meaning there is no recovery period, and there are minimal to no side effects.
For more rapid lightening of dark spots, you can have laser treatments. These destroy the darkened pigmented skin and replace it with healthier skin. Lasers use beams of light that concentrate their energy on small areas. However, laser treatment is not ideal for everyone. It can cause hypopigmentation in rare cases and only works on targeted areas of darkened skin.
Home Remedies to treat dark spots on the face
If you are looking for a natural way to lighten age spots, a few home remedies are easy to try. Your dermatologist will likely recommend trying a combination of these options instead of relying just on one.
Making its way to the list of home remedies, lemon juice is often used for treating skin discoloration. It reduces excess melanin production, to brighten complexion as well as fading away age spots and freckles. Besides, lemon juice contains Vitamin C and citric acid, which is a powerful exfoliant. It’s also rich in antioxidants that help lighten acne scars and remove dead skin cells, making for softer and brighter skin.
For centuries, aloe vera has been a popular acne treatment. Since it soothes burns and other skin ailments, the healing properties of aloe might help to alleviate the effects of hyperpigmentation. In addition, when used topically or orally, aloe vera might slow down melanin accumulation in your skin and help treat acne scarring and lighten the dark spots on the face.
Oleuropein is the active ingredient in grape seed extract, and it’s what causes the skin lightening effect. While there are many alternatives to hydroquinone, they are not recommended for long-term use because they can irritate. Grapeseed extract is safe for long-term use and can be applied daily.
Protection from sun
If you are not using an SPF, it is time to start. Exposing your face to the sun increases your risk of developing more dark spots if they are already present. Make sure you are applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day.
Yogurt exfoliates the skin, therefore it is another one of the homemade skin brightener options that you can easily find in your kitchen. Also, yogurt has a natural lactic acid which may provide anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and exfoliating properties that aid in fading dark spots on the face and pigmentation.
Almond oil is an incredibly versatile and nourishing ingredient used both in the kitchen and for your skin. However, not all almond oils are created equal. Today, many almond oils are fortified with extra vitamins and minerals that help reduce dark spots on the face.
Things to avoid
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) warns that some skin-lightening products can be harmful. For instance, using liquid bleach on the skin can result in severe burns. Some skin-lightening products can also contain steroids and are unsuitable for use on sensitive skin without medical supervision. Others even contain mercury, which is highly toxic and can cause serious health problems if misused.
It’s important to closely read the labels of skin-lightening products you wish to use. If you have questions, consult a dermatologist. Do not use a product more often than it instructs you to.
Over-the-counter products to help reduce dark spots on the face:
Mele Facial Serum
With its combination of high-end and cosmeceutical ingredients, this Serum is one of the most efficacious and safest on the market. It will protect your face from free radicals while helping to reduce dark spots on the face, and its infusion of vitamin c will dramatically reduce the look of fine lines in a matter of weeks. Plus, it’s super easy to use!
OPTE Skin Set
Opte is an advanced skincare device that uses patented optical technology to identify and illuminate your concerns. It reduces the appearance of dark spots and brightens your skin instantly, without wearing foundation or concealer.
ZO Skin Health Brightener
This high-tech Serum goes above and beyond to create a smoother appearance without irritation. It targets pigment-producing cells responsible for creating uneven skin tones, brightening the complexion, and preventing future discoloration.
DermalogicaPowerBright Dark Spot Serum
This Serum uses light-diffusing technology to blur the appearance of uneven skin tone instantly while also helping to fade dark spots on the face over time with the power of niacinamide and shiitake mushroom.
Stargaze Enhanced Retinol Serum
Stargaze’s enriched retinol serum incorporates a low dose of retinol (0.25% to be correct), hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide, which will plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and minimize the dark spots on the face. Stargaze combines potent anti-aging ingredients with natural botanical extracts to achieve the ultimate anti-aging formula while being gentle enough to use every day.
Healthy Skin Habits
Any problem, such as hyperpigmentation, is always better to fix sooner than later. Here are the things you can do now to avoid further hyperpigmentation on your skin:
- Protect skin and prevent dark spots on the face by wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 20.
- Eating healthily promotes a healthy lifestyle and reduces the incidence of skin conditions. A healthy balance of vitamins and minerals will help your body regulate its production of sebum and hydration levels, thus preventing the appearance of dark spots on the face.
- Nutritional supplements like vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, and others can be a great way to fill in your diet deficiencies. You can buy supplements without a prescription either online or in health food stores.
- Nicotine in cigarettes can cause hormonal imbalances in the body, which can be expressed through breakouts. It is strongly recommended that you consider quitting smoking if you suffer from dark spots on your face.
Most dark patches on the skin are harmless and are never a cause for concern. However, you should always consult a dermatologist or a doctor before performing any chemical peel or other procedures to obtain lighter skin. Other than cosmetic reasons, a doctor should see any sign of itchy, bleeding, tingling, or color change in the skin. For the best result, be consistent and use it as part of your daily skincare routine.