Dark Spot, the discoloration of Skin: Causes, Removal and Treatment

LAST UPDATED: March 3rd, 2023 / By Nura / AgingSkinTreatment

Dark spot or hyperpigmentation is a condition that causes discoloration, or skin patches of discoloration. It usually occur to people in their middle age. These patches can be large or small, and are often darker than the skin around them. Dark spot can occur due to overproduction of melanin in the skin by melanocytes triggered by different factors. These factors include unstable hormones, excessive exposure to UVA and UVB ray, medication side effects and aging factor. It can appear on your face, hands and decolletage as a result of excessive exposure towards UV ray without wearing proper protection. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to treat hyperpigmentation without committing to a specific schedule of treatments or skin routine.

While dark spots can develop at any age, they most often develop in adulthood. Hyperpigmentation is more common in African-American skin. Other names for dark spots are liver spots or solar lentigines. Eventually, for people with darker skin, a spot that have shades darker than the skin commonly will fades away within 6 – 12 months.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is one of the most common types of hyperpigmentation. PIH is set off by inflammatory skin problem such as acne or eczema that can trigger the launch of excess melanin, or pigment, in the influenced areas. PIH can likewise happen after these skin concerns have recovered– a.k.a. those bothersome lingering areas that last for life long after your acne has actually dried out. Darker skin tone that have increased activity of melanocytes will be more prone to PIH compared to fair skin tone. With the right treatments, PIH can fade over time.

Other several different skin conditions that can cause dark spots include melasma, linea nigra, Riehl’s melanosis, Poikiloderma of Civatte and Erythromelanosis follicularis. Melasma is a larger brown blotches normally appear on after pregnancy woman.

Prevention From Dark Spot

Simple tips to prevent dark spots are wearing clothes that covers your face and body, avoid being in the sun between 10AM to 2PM and, wear & reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. Remember to apply daily broad spectrum mineral-based sunscreen for at least 15 minutes before you expose to the sunlight. Sunscreen with SPF30 is enough unless you are living in equatorial climate, SPF50 is the better option.

Another method to prevent and treating dark spots or hyperpigmentation are through the use of medications, skin care products, and light based therapies. Prevention is the best form of treatment, and it can be done through the use of retinoids, beta hydroxy acid (BHA), antioxidants and skin lightening creams.


Treatment Of Dark Spot

There are a variety of treatment options, including topical and chemical therapies. Moisturizing and hydration factors need to be considered before treating dark spot since it can help strengthen skin barrier. Healthy skin barrier can help reduce the appearance of existing dark spots and prevent new ones from forming. You can start with an in-office treatment with a routine like once a month and in the mean time keep up the daily routine with over-the-counter products to slow down old dark spot and prevent new one from forming on your skin.


i- Chemical Peels

Chemical peels can helps get rid of the upper layers of dead skin, allowing it to regenerate, assisting to minimize the dull appearance of the skin to ensure that it reflect light far better and also improve its radiance. With time these treatments can stimulate collagen production, improve cellular turnover, and also reduce the look of dark spot, however beware of a chemical peel with really high concentration, which can burn the skin. Usual active components in pro-grade peels include glycolic, mandelic, salicylic, and also lactic acids, in addition to trichloroacetic acid.

While home peels are readily available, they are much more likely to get rid off dead skin as opposed to dive deep enough to lighten dark spots. Obviously, keep in mind that chemical peels effect can be severe, especially on sensitive skin, so make sure to consult with your dermatologist first on how respond if the any adverse reaction after the treatment.


ii- Microdermabrasion

There are 2 different kinds of microdermabrasion treatment. The first one is crystal microdermabrasion, second one is diamond-tipped microdermabrasion. Both physically remove cells on the skin’s surface.

Crystal microdermabrasion is the traditional method, where special hand-held device that will blast aluminum oxide crystals from a wand that knead against the skin and at the same time it will vacuums up dead skin cells and the used crystal.

For diamond-tipped microdermabrasion, the abrasive end of a wand is used for this purpose rather. The patient’s skin may experience mild redness or bruising after treatment, with a maximum of one day downtime.


iii- Topical Cream for Dark Spot

Topical for dark spot/hyperpigmentation is available in the form of creams, gels, and serums. Topical creams containing hydroquinone have come under scrutiny due to the side effects that the ingredient can cause including the development of white patches and discoloration of the skin. There is a variety of other topical that are considered safe to use.


+ Vitamin C

Topical Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help with a range of anti-ageing benefits like lightening the skin and smoothing out dark spots or hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C is a natural ingredient that have properties to block free radicals from causing oxidative damage to the skin. It has been proven to prevent dark spots and reduce wrinkles in clinical trials by many present skincare brand. Continuous usage for at least 17 weeks is needed to significantly reduces the appearance of dark spots.


+ Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid is a natural essence from oat, wheat, or rye that can inhibit tyrosinase, means it will interferes with melanin production and preventing hyperpigmentation from happen. Azelaic Acid also has anti-bacterial properties that can help preventing micro-bacteria build-up that normally accumulate inside skin pore that causing acne.


+ Niacinamide

Also known as vitamin B3. It’s main function is for lightening dark spots and giving the skin an even tone. It can help blocking the transfer of melanin to your skin cells by obstructing the transfer pathway.


+ AHA (Glycolic Acid/Lactic Acid)

– Glycolic acid and Lactic Acid are better ingredients in treating dark spot compared to other AHA since they are milder and risking minimal side effects to your skin. These 2 ingredients best suited to treat hyperpigmentation on dry skin since it doesn’t penetrate deep into the skin. Lactic Acid is milder than Glycolic Acid and doesn’t penetrate the skin as deeply as Glycolic Acid. It can be bought in weak concentration such as 5-10%.


+ BHA (Salicylic Acid)

– Salicylic Acid has anti-inflammatory properties and suitable to be use for dark spot that caused by inflammation such as acne.


+ Retinoid Solutions

Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A. working by thinning the stratum-corneum layer to reach the pigment, then slough it off the old, discolored skin cells away turning your tone to a brighten complexion. Retinol might be irritating especially to people with sensitive and dry skin.


+ Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) Peel

-TCA with 20-25% of concentration is suitable to be used for deeper-seated dark spots. TCA with 10-15% concentration is suitable to be used for lighter hyperpigmentation.


+ Tranexamic Acid

-Produced by synthetic derivative of amino acid, Tranexamix Acid come with anti-inflammatory properties and a good melanin inhibitor, means it is more effectively used to treat PIH and Melasma, and safe to be use during pregnancy.


+ Alpha-arbutin

-It derived from plants such as pear, whear, cranberry, mulberry and bearberry and also can be made synthetically. Alpha-arbutin is better in inhibiting melanin compared to beta-arbutin. It also have antioxidant properties to protect skin from UV ray damage. Alpha-arbutin can be used together with Niacinamide, Retinol, Vitamin C or Glycolic Acid and can be used in both morning and night routine. Normally it will take 9 to 13 weeks with consistent application to see any improvement. People with sensitive, dry and acne prone skin can use this ingredient since it does not dry out or irritate the skin.


+ Licorice Root Extract

Flavonoid (Glabridin) is the one of the active compound that exist in Licorice and it has anti-inflammatory property. Liquiritin/licochalcone is another active compound that can disperse and remove existing melanin in the skin. It is suitable to be use to treat PIH.


Dark Spot Corrector

When it come to treating dark spot concern, look for terms that mention “brightening”, “skin tone-evening” on the packaging whether it is serum or moisturizer or night cream or exfoliators or at-home peels. The corrector should be apply after exfoliate and cleansing your face. If the corrector is in liquid form, you should apply it after cleansing step. If the corrector is in lotion or cream form, you can applied it after applying serum on your face.

Wearing broad spectrum SPF protection is a must when you are treating dark spot concern. . You should expect to use all the corrector item according to the instruction and consistently for five weeks to begin to see results. The frequency of application will depend on various product from once to twice daily or once or twice weekly especially for products like peels and exfoliator.


Best Splurge on Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation in 2023


+ SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum, $131

Do you want to know how to treat dark spots? Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum is ideal for anyone who has noticed dark spots on the face, such as freckles, age spots, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The serum is a natural solution that works by preventing the creation of these dark spots. In addition, it works to rid the skin of dark spots that are already present. This way, you’ll be able to say goodbye to those dark spots, believe it or not.

+ CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum, $20

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum is a night cream that helps prevent dark spots and hyperpigmentation. It contains 1.0% Retinol, which penetrates deep into the skin and helps reduce the appearance of dark spots over time. It also contains 15% niacinamide, which works to reduce inflammation and discoloration by binding to the skin. With continued use, you should see a noticeable improvement in the appearance of dark spots and other blemishes.

This product is free of parabens, fragrances, and oils, and it is suitable for sensitive skin. It is also non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic, so it isn’t likely to cause break outs or other issues.

+ Melé Even Dark Spot Control Serum, $26

Melé Even Dark Spot Control Serum is a revolutionary, multi-use, multi-benefit skin care solution for a multitude of hyperpigmentation concerns. Hyperpigmentation may result from hormonal changes, stress, unhealthy diet, or excessive sun exposure.

Whether you’re looking to even out skin tone and texture, reduce dark spots and freckles, prevent signs of aging, or just boost your overall skin health, Melé Even will provide you with the anti-aging solution you’ve been searching for. With sustained use, you’ll be on your way to having healthier and brighter skin.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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