What are Dark Spots on the Face?
Believe it or not, dark spots are more common than you may think. Also referred to as hyperpigmentation, they appear on aging and unhealthy skin. Many people dread getting dark spots. Some people manage to avoid them all together, but when they do pop up, you’ll find them clinging to your face, hands, shoulders and legs. Dark spots are age spots, sun spots or melasma. It can be very distressing when age spots appear on your face and hands particularly. People usually start to see dark spots when they reach middle age. Although dark spots (sometimes referred to as age spots) can appear for many reasons, it can be very unsettling for the person they are riding around on.
What are the Common Causes of Dark Spots?
Many factors cause dark spots. Some factors are preventable. As with many skin issues, prolonged sun exposure is a common cause. When your skin is exposed to the sun for extended periods of time, your skin receives a concentration of melanin and dark spots can appear. Genetics is also sometimes to blame for age spots appearing. Other natural causes include hormonal changes, stress, liver disease and pregnancy. Regular use of the wrong kind of skincare products may also produce dark spots on the skin. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is one of the most under-recognized causes of dark spots, which can occur when some type of trauma has occurred to the skin, such as extreme acne. Other common causes include Riehl’s melanosis, Poikiloderma of Civatte, Erythromelanosis follicularis, Linea Fusca and Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If you are suddenly finding dark spots on your skin and you have concerns, you should speak to your physician about them.
Medications can also cause dark spots to appear on the skin. This is because some medications sensitize your skin to the sun, although some medications cause dark spots without sun exposure. If you are taking a new medication and have noticed dark spots appearing, check with your doctor to find out if this is a side effect of taking the medication.
Here are the common medications known to cause dark spots:
What are Natural Remedies for Dark Spot Removal?
Prevention is the key to warding off almost all skin conditions, so one thing you can obviously do is to take care of your skin by staying out of the sun, using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing. One home remedy is to use lemon juice on your face. Most over-the-counter dark spot correctors use lemon juice as one of their main ingredients. Lemon juice is known for lightly and harmlessly bleaching. Apply lemon juice to the darkened areas two times per day. Other home remedies include lightly dabbling horseradish, honey or apply cider vinegar on the dark spots. Apply home remedies for up to two weeks.
Another home remedy is green tea, which isn’t surprising, considering it is the home remedy for many different ailments. You can apply cooled (used) green tea bags directly to the face. Find a quiet place to lie down and gently press the tea bags into the affected areas. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Drinking green tea may also help detoxify your system and may help in reducing dark spots.
Treatments to Lighten Dark Spots
Dermatologist Eliot Battle, MD, Washington, D.C., recommends making sure dark spots aren’t cancerous before developing a treatment regimen. He assures that the vast majority of skin discolorations are harmless, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Recent discoloration means the pigment is only in the top layers of the skin and is more easily remedied. If this is the case, you might try exfoliators, cleansers and moisturizers at home as a treatment means. Moisturizers should contain glycolic or lactic acid. Home products combined with two in-office chemical peels can yield results within six to eight weeks.
Over-the-counter products give you a 2 percent concentration, whereas prescribed products can give you a 4 percent concentration. The darker the skin, the more the skin can tolerate and some women can tolerate up to 12 percent.
Dark patches that have been present for a year or more need a more invasive treatment, such as a laser. One to two treatments usually rid the skin of the dark spots.
How to Prevent Dark Spots?
As mentioned earlier in this article, prevention should be very important to you. By preventing dark spots now, you will be saving yourself a lot of time, money and embarrassment later in life. According to Prevention Magazine, dark spots can make you look up to 10 years older than you actually are. They recommend applying sunscreen daily and going with SPF 30 or higher. For additional protection, layering a cream or lotion containing antioxidants, such as vitamin C, can be beneficial. Applying 2 % HQ cream directly to any recent spots may help get rid of them.