The appearance of black blotches or discoloured skin on the face is a normal concern. This occurs as a result of an increase in melanin leading to dark pigmentation. Thankfully, this is a treatable condition. In this post, we would be discussing what dark spots are, their causes, types, and treatments.
What Are Dark Spots On The Face?
Dark spots, also known as hyperpigmented spots, are usually patches or areas of the skin which have turned darker in colour than the surrounding area. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin (a brown pigment which produces skin colour) is deposited on the skin. This can lead to dark pigmentation, discolouration, spots and irregular skin tone. These spots can occur on the face, arms, shoulders, back and hands however facial black spots are usually a cause of concern for many. People from all age groups, both genders and any skin type can develop these spots.
What Causes Dark Spots On Face?
The main cause of dark skin on the face or any other body part is due to the excess production of melanin present in our skin. This overproduction can be caused due to –
- Overexposure to UV rays
- Hormonal imbalance
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
Also Read: How To Remove Black Spots On Back?
Types Of Dark Spots
In order to find out how to remove black spots that are caused by pimples or any other concern, or which cream to use, etc., you will have to first determine what type of dark spots have occurred. Below are the three types of dark spots that an individual can encounter –
- Melasma – Melasma spot is most common in women and those who have a darker skin tone. Melasma is an extended form of pigmentation, and you would notice patches of skin in colors ranging from light yellow to dark brown. Also, rather than tiny spots, melasma spots can cover a larger area of your skin.
- Lentigines – Solar Lentigines usually occur due to overexposure to sunlight. The harsh UV rays lead to either a single spot or multiple spots which appear as a patch. You will notice this type of black spots mostly in adults rather than children.
- Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) – As the name suggests, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is the result of an inflammation leading to increase in pigmentation. Appearance-wise, these spots would appear more like blemishes with their color ranging from pink to red to dark brown. Popping or picking at your acne will often end up with you having dark spots due to PIH.
Also Read: How To Remove Pigmentation From Face?
How To Remove Dark Spots On Face?
Dark spots are not permanent in nature and can be easily removed by using creams, cosmetic treatments, lifestyle changes, etc. Below are some of the most effective dark spot treatments that are recommended by dermatologists.
Facial Dark Spot Removal Options
- Lasers – Laser treatment is effective to clear black spots.In this treatment, a beam of light is focused on the target area to remove the particles of pigment from the skin. Depending on the size of the spot as well as the body part, you may have to go through 4-6 sessions to remove the dark spots completely. Make sure you get the laser treatment done by a certified dermatologist.
- Chemical Peels – In a chemical peel treatment, a combination of chemical solutions is applied to the affected area. These chemicals help in removing the outer layers of the skin which, in turn, helps in fading the dark spots. Along with the removal of the black spots, you will also gain smooth and glowing skin. Popular chemical peels are salicylic and lactic peels and you can get this treatment done at a reputed skin clinic.
- Microdermabrasion – Just like chemical peels, microdermabrasion is also an exfoliation treatment which aids in removing dead skin cells. This treatment is ideal for people who have a mild case of hyperpigmentation. One of the advantages of microdermabrasion is that there is no damage to your skin tissue as this is a non-invasive procedure. This also means that the healing time is comparatively less.
- Microneedling – This treatment uses a stainless tool which is covered with hundreds of tiny needles. As the needles prick the skin, it promotes an increase in collagen production and helps restore the skin’s elasticity. When done by a professional, there is no risk of scarring in this treatment. An anaesthetic cream is applied before the session to ensure that no pain is felt during the procedure. Ideally, 4-6 sessions are required to see visible results.
Over The Counter (OTC) Options
OTC solutions like black spot removal creams, gels, soap and cleansers are widely assumed to be effective in dealing with this condition. However, you might see little to moderate results from any OTC products. Further, you run the risk of side-effects like skin irritation and damage.
- An ingredient called hydroquinone is easily available over-the-counter. Hydroquinone helps in restraining tyrosinase, which is an enzyme that helps in melanin production. Since the production of tyrosinase is limited, the production of melanin also slows down. Depending upon the extent of your dark spots, it can easily take 8-12 weeks for this treatment to show visible results
- Kojic Acid is an integral ingredient of skin lighteners and is made out of fermented rice or mushrooms. There can be some minor side effects from using kojic acid topically Hence, it is advised to use it in low concentrations. This treatment works by subduing the main function of the pigment cells.
- Some other ingredients like Azelaic acid, Lactic acid, and Salicylic acid is available in different strength in various dark spot removal products. Make sure to consider your skin type and skin sensitivity before choosing any product.
Home Remedies For Dark Spots On The Face
The use of home remedies to remove black spots is mostly anecdotal. Ingredients like lemon juice, aloe vera, yogurt, apple cider vinegar etc. are claimed to be natural bleaching agents and exfoliants. Such claims are personal and is not substantiated by medical facts.
Also Read: How To Become Fair?
How To Reduce Facial Dark Spots?
Here are some tips from the dermatologist’s desk that can help in preventing and dealing with your dark spots –
- Try to avoid overexposure to the sun and ensure that you always apply a layer of sunscreen with SPF 30 or more before stepping out.
- Choose the right skin care products for your skin type.
- Pay attention to the skin care and cosmetic products that you are currently using and discard the ones that cause irritation or redness.
- Topical medications for dark spot lightening like Retin-A are easily available and can be used as prescribed by your dermatologist.
- Stock up on topical medications that have vitamin C as an active ingredient as it can help in reducing the discoloration of your skin.
Now that you are aware of the various treatments to remove pimples and black spots quickly, do not wait any longer to fulfil your dream of flaunting clear and glowing skin! Undertake the right treatment and follow the dark spot removal tips suggested by dermatologists to ensure that you do not face this problem again.