Dark Spots Treatment: Causes, Prevention, Treatment

Dark spots treatment related to dark spots, age spots, hyperpigmentation…Whatever you call them, most people just want rid of them. Fortunately, there are a number of different treatment options when it comes to lightening up darks spots on the skin and evening out your complexion. But not all of those treatments will deliver the same results. So it’s important to understand the primary causes of age spots and consider your options for treatment to make sure you’re choosing a safe, effective one that will work for you.

What Causes Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation?

More formally known as “hyperpigmentation,” dark spots are generally the result of the overproduction of the most common skin pigment – melanin. The spot develops as the pigment concentrates in one area, making it appear darker than the rest of the skin. These spots of increased pigmentation can occur anywhere, but they tend to be most concentrated on the face, hands, shoulders, arms, and back. It is recommended to take expert advice at the early stage of dark spots treatment.

Some of the specifics surrounding dark spots and their development remain elusive; however, aging and exposure to UV light seem to be the two primary causes of the issue. Several other factors may contribute to changes in the evenness of your skin tone, including:

  • Certain skin diseases, such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and melisma
  • Certain medications, including estrogens and tetracyclines
  • Certain diseases, including liver disease, Addison’s disease, and hemochromatosis
  • Certain kinds of tumors, including pituitary tumors

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How Are Dark Spots Treated?

Although dark spots typically don’t hurt and generally have the same or similar texture as the rest of your skin, there is always the potential that a spot could be cancerous. So it’s important to have any new skin discoloration evaluated by your doctor to rule out any major concerns before started any kind of dark spot treatment. Once you’ve been cleared by your doctor, you can begin further exploring your options for getting rid of dark spots.

Your treatment options vary greatly, ranging from simple at-home treatments and creams to more aggressive cosmetic solutions. Typically, choosing the best option for you depends on several factors, including the severity of your dark spots as well as your desired outcome. Nevertheless, you can try any of these methods for effectively removing dark spots and evening out your skin tone:

  • Natural Remedies

It’s important to remember that just because a solution is “natural” does not mean that you won’t have a sensitivity or allergy to it. Nonetheless, most of the natural remedies for lightening dark spots do have fewer risks associated with them than other options. Some of the most natural treatments for lightening mild to moderate age spots are:

  • Vitamin C
  • Azelaic acid
  • Pomegranate extract
  • Beta carotene
  • Licorice extract

These solutions are available in different concentrations and are typically applied topically to the skin.

  • Creams and Serums

If you’ve tried natural remedies with no improvement or just want an option with a little more power behind it, you may want to consider one of several creams or serums. One of the most effective topical solutions for lightening dark spots on the skin is hydroquinone. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the concentration of this ingredient to 2 percent in over-the-counter products and 3 to 4 percent in prescription treatments. So if you want the highest concentration available, you’ll need to work with a doctor to oversee your treatment.

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  • Retinoid Treatments

Retinoids are another option for treating age spots. These products, like Retin-A and Renova, contain active ingredients like alpha hydroxyl and retinoic acid that function to exfoliate the skin and speed the growth of new, healthy cells. Retinoid solutions do, however, make the skin drier and more sensitive to the sun, so it’s important to limit your sun exposure and/or use a very protective sunscreen when you are in the sun. Likewise, these treatments can take up to a few months for you to see results.

  • Chemical Peels

If you’re willing to try a bit of a more aggressive treatment, a chemical peel might be a good choice for you. Peels function to exfoliate the entire surface of your skin, brightening it and naturally stimulating the growth of new skin. This process can also improve the overall skin tone as well as treat dark spots specifically. Most peels include components, such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), or phenol to achieve the skin rejuvenation you’re looking for.

  • Laser Treatments

Laser treatments are one of the most targeted options for lightening dark spots and evening your skin tone. These treatments function by delivering a concentrated ray of light energy at the specific area of skin to be treated. This treatment functions to gently and effectively remove the darkened layers of skin to reveal lighter, brighter, more even looking skin. While the benefits of this treatment are numerous, it also comes with some risks of which you should be aware, including possible bruising, swelling, redness, and scarring.

Can Dark Spots Be Prevented?  

While you’ll have to consider the possible treatments for and risks of treating dark spots, one of the most effective measures is to prevent dark spots in the first place. Using products that block harmful UV rays everyday as well as limiting sun exposure and covering exposed skin are all effective measures for preventing skin damage. Applied over time, these techniques can also aid in keeping your current dark spots from worsening as well as helping fade them.

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What Is the Next Step?

If you have dark spots that are affecting the overall appearance of your skin and/or making your self-conscious, then your next step toward dark spots treatment is working with a trusted doctor to explore your best treatment options. The doctors at the Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami are all Board Certified Plastic Surgeons who have made it their mission to help individuals achieve natural, personalized, and long-lasting results – no matter the cosmetic concern. You can learn more about each of the surgeons and further explore your options here: www.psimiami.com.

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