What Exactly is a Dark Spot?
A dark spot refers to a hyper-pigmentation of the skin commonly occurring in middle aged women. Dark spots, aka pigmentations, occur when a localized patch of melanin produced accumulates on a specific area on the skin. It can be located on the forehead, face or cheek bone area. Some dark spots could mean serious skin problems and thus you should consult a dermatologist if you become suspicious.
What are Signs and Symptoms of Dark Spots?
Spots appearing as a result of exposure to sunlight including age spots and acne are the first signs of dark spots. They often affect the uniformity and radiance of your skin indicating that your skin has started ageing. Dark spots are preludes for wrinkles and can strike any woman regardless of the skin type or color. Most women find dark spots uncomfortable living with and start covering them using a makeup or clothing.
What Causes Dark Spots?
There are several factors that lead to dark spot including genetics, pregnancy, UV light and skin diseases among others. Between the ages of 20 and 50, hormonal variances caused by stress, contraceptive pills, pregnancies, and menopause can also cause dark spots. Extreme exposure to sun light from sun baking accounts for some dark spots at later stages in life. Below the age of 20, acne can cause dark spots due to scarring and red marks left by the infection.
Skin Diseases That Cause Dark Spots
- Melasma: It’s one of the commonest causes of grayish patches on the face. It mostly affects the forehead, cheeks, or the area between your mouth and nose. Surprisingly, it can affect other areas of your skin especially the ones that are frequently exposed to the sun such as shoulders or forearms.
- Riehl’s Melanosis: It causes grayish or brownish patches on your face resulting from hyper-pigmentation. Several dermatologists allege that this disease often result following subsequent exposure to sunlight on body areas that were previously exposed to certain cosmetic products such as deodorants.
- Poikiloderma of Civatte: This mostly affects the neck area that has been exposed to sun’s rays. This disease causes reddish or reddish brown patches on the neck skin.
- Erythromelanosis follicularis: It is an erythematous pigmentary disease consisting of follicles and expressed as reddish brown discoloration on the face and neck region.
- Linea Fusca: This consists of a linear line that runs on the face of woman caused by melanocyte stimulating hormone due to hormonal changes. It also causes melasma and darkened nipples.
- Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH): These refer to spots that arise following an injury to your skin. Although most disappear with time, some scars can actually last for a long time before they can completely disappear.
UV Light Causes Specific Types of Dark Spots
- Melasma: It’s a common condition characterized by grayish patches on the face, forehead or on the upper lip. It can also affect areas that get regularly exposed to sunlight including shoulders and arms.
- Solar Lentigines – Freckles: These are red or brown raised spots caused by long term exposure to the sunlight. They are genetically instigated and thus can be passed down to generations.
- Ephelides: These fall under the category of freckles. They are different from freckles in that they are usually flat light brown or red in color and gradually disappear with a reduction of exposure to sunlight.
Medications that Cause Dark Spots
These consist of medications that make your skin more sensitive without necessarily getting exposed to sunlight. Use of such medications in the treatment of other underlying medical conditions promotes the appearance of dark spots at any area of your skin. They include:
- Estrogens: These are medications used in the treatment of hormonal imbalances in women especially in birth controls or in treating postmenopausal symptoms. They come in form of pills, injections, implants, or patches.
- Tetracyclines: These are antibiotics used in the treatment of skin infections such as acne or rosacea.
- Amiodarone: These are medications used in treating several heart problems including high blood pressure.
- Phenytoin: If you suffer from epilepsy, your physicians may recommend Phenytoin to help in overcoming seizures. The use of this drug can lead to formation of dark spots on your skin.
- Phenothiazines: This doesn’t qualify to be a drug but a compound contained in medications used in the treatment of psychosis and it’s also contained in some antihistamines.
- Sulfonamides: It is a chemical found in certain antimicrobial and diuretic drugs.
Other Causes of Dark Spots
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women get a linear vertical dark line on their abdomen. In fact, over three-quarters report this problem although in some, it disappears soon after delivery. However, the line may become permanent in some cases unless if treated.
- Liver Disease: It refers to a disease that strikes when your body’s iron intake exceeds the required amount.
- Addison’s Disease: The presence of dark spots could signify that you are suffering from Addison’s disease. It is caused by the inability of adrenal glands to produce enough cortisol and aldosterone hormones which control the functions of tissues and organs.
- Hemachromatosis: Resulting from excessive absorption of iron, this disease impairs the functions of major organs including heart, liver, and pancreas. It is a genetic disease passed from one generation to another.
- Pituitary Tumors: These are abnormal growths that occur in the pituitary glands. They can adversely affect the production of hormones and thus affect many body functions.
How to Fight with Dark Spots?
- Wear Sunscreen: Always put on a sunscreen daily with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more. Products containing Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide offer best protection. Wear a sunscreen 30 minutes before heading out of your house.
- Extrapone Nutgrass: It is mild to the skin and inhibits melanin production. The best way is to find its raw ingredient and apply directly on your skin. However, you can still make orders for products that contain this plant.
- Castor Oil: It has strong ingredients essential for dealing with age spots and dark spots. You should apply castor oil with the help of clean cotton cloth to the affected areas twice a day.
- Green Tea Extracts: These contain antioxidants that eliminate free radicals slowing down the aging process. They also stimulate the production of healthier collagen.
- Vitamin E: It helps in the elimination of free radicals that accelerate the aging process making wrinkles and dark spots more conspicuous. It also has antioxidant and moisturizing abilities. Spots arising from burns and injuries are also fast eliminated by vitamin E since it speeds up the healing process.
- Aloe Vera: Renowned for its ability to eliminate scars from minor burns, Aloe Vera can be used to reduce the appearance of both dark and brown spots on your skin. A fresh gel should be gently applied on the affected area and left for 30 minutes before wiping it off.
- Laser Treatment: This method utilizes laser emissions to kill melanin producing cells. The method although costly can help get rid of dark spots once you attend a number of sessions. It has no major side effects but skin discoloration may occur.
- Skin Brightening Cream: These contain a blend of ingredients that your skin requires to stay healthy and glowing. They provide essential ingredients to assist in speedy elimination of dark spots, acne, freckles, and wrinkles among other skin problems.
The presence of dark spots should not mark the end of an enjoyable life to remain attractive all the time. There are several home remedies and readily available beauty products that will eliminate any notable mark on your skin and ensure it remains healthy, soft and supple throughout. With a spotless skin, you will be confident to go about with your normal business in life with the worry uneven skin color.