Have you noticed small, dark spots on your face or any other parts of your body? If so, you’re not alone; it’s very common, especially here in the Middle East. If you have them, you’ve probably wondered how to get rid of them. Fear not! The steps below will help you learn how to get rid of these marks and even out your skin.
Dark spots on your face can be caused by acne scarring, sunburns and age spots, and darker skin tones are more prone to developing them. This discoloration on the skin, which dermatologists call “post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation” can occur at the site of a healed or healing inflamed acne lesion. Caused by excessive melanin production, this darkening of the skin is a normal reaction when dark skin becomes inflamed, such as after a rash, scratch or pimple. While these spots tend to gradually disappear over time, they are the number one complaint among dark-skinned patients with acne vulgaris.
Whatever the cause may be, we have the best treatments and tips to treat your dark spots!
What is hyperpigmentation? The pesky dark spots and patches on your skin are what is called as hyperpigmentation – a term used to describe a darkly pigmented patch of skin. Our skin and hair are characterized by a melanin pigment in the cells which gives them their colour. When this pigment is produced by the cells in excess, it leads to hyperpigmentation.
What causes hyperpigmentation? Whenever there is any skin injury or disease, the skin produces excessive melanin which causes post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is commonly seen with some skin diseases like acne, eczema or from excessive scratching. Certain botched skin procedures can also cause hyperpigmentation. Age spots, sun spots, liver spots and freckles are all types of hyperpigmentation that occur due to sun exposure.
When should you visit a dermatologist? If you experience new dark spots, it is important to visit a dermatologist to find out the exact cause of the pigmentation. If you have moles changing shape, colour, size, you must seek a dermatologist’s opinion immediately. Once the problem is diagnosed, your dermatologist will try and treat the condition that is causing the pigmentation like skin disease, acne, etc… The hyperpigmentation itself can also be treated after the condition causing it is resolved.
How can one prevent hyperpigmentation? Avoid scratching and get the skin condition diagnosed and treated by a dermatologist. It is important to avoid the triggering and causative factors. Avoid sun exposure, use a SPF 30+ sunscreen providing broad spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays during all seasons. And whenever you can, wear a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses, scarves and walk in the shade.
What are the treatments available to use at home?
Skin Lightening creams – Ointments with hydroquinone, kojic acid, azelaic acid, retinol, etc can be used but only through a prescription from a dermatologist as they have a potential to cause irritation, and skin rashes. Jan Marini Bioglycolic Bioclear Face Lotion tackles skin discoloration from a range of issues and has a light texture that suits oily skin perfectly in the Middle East’s often scorching weather. For dark spots on the body, try the gently yet extremely effective South Beach Body Milk For All Over; you’ll be surprised by how quickly you’ll see results with this all-natural formula.
Peels – Exfoliation with peels reduces pigmentation and evens out the skin tone. There are several types of peels in the market, the milder ones like glycolic, mandelic and lactic help in superficial exfoliation of the skin layers and can be used at home. Dr. Dennis Gross’s best selling Alpha Beta Peel comes in regular and extra-strength depending on your skin’s tolerance and needs, and will not only address your dark spots, but also smooth out fine lines and minimize large pores.
Maintenance After treatments
We can never emphasize enough the importance of protecting your skin from the sun after any of these treatments. These treatments mentioned are permanent provided adequate sun protection and maintenance is followed. However, if exposed to the sun, your skin will suffer additional damage as most treatments create sun-sensitivity after use.
– Injeel Firoz