Darks spots on the skin can affect anyone at any time of life. They are usually a result of sun damage, hormonal changes or skin irritation, and many outbreaks can be treated with dark spot corrector creams. The active ingredients in these creams differ between brands, but many are rich in compounds such as vitamin C, which is prized for its ability to lighten and brighten the complexion.
Other helpful elements are retinol, which works to increase the production of collagen, and hydroquinone, an ingredient often found in costlier creams. Before you buy a new treatment, it’s worth considering what may have caused the dark spots on your skin and then buying a preparation that targets that issue specifically.
Does Everyone Get Them?
Potentially anyone can find themselves having to deal with dark spots. People with all colors and types of skin can develop them. It’s thought that people who are often out in the sun or have had regular episodes of sunburn are especially at risk. In the over 50s, dark spots can be caused by the natural aging process and are very common. Aside from the cosmetic issue, age spots are often harmless and won’t need removing.
What Else Can Cause Dark Spots?
There are various risk factors when it comes to dark spots, some of which are easier to control than others. Melasma is often referred to as the ‘mask of pregnancy’ and causes dark spots to form on the face.
Often linked to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, it is thought that when this condition occurs, the cells that give our skin color (melanocytes) begin overproducing pigment. A similar effect is created by liver spots or age spots, but you will find them on your shoulders, neck and back, as well as your face.
What is Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation develops on the skin after an injury or trauma and is hard to avoid. Once the healing process has taken place, it can leave behind a flattened spot that is a darker shade than the rest of the skin. Cosmetic procedures, including laser treatments, can also be a cause, as can eczema or acne outbreaks.
Pregnancy or Sun Damage
If your melasma patches occur during pregnancy, then it’s likely that hormones have played a part. If not, then sun damage is a more likely cause. UV exposure forces the skin to produce more melanin as a defense mechanism. This gives you a golden glow, but over time it can also produce small black or brown melanin formations.
Can Uneven Skin and Dark Patches Be Treated?
When dark areas remind you of the pain of sun damage and make your skin look less than healthy, getting rid of them can be a relief. There are plenty of effective lotions and creams that will work to reduce their appearance, but these topical preparations must be used regularly to get the best results.
Relief Seeker is a health information website providing reliable information on a range of medical issues and available treatments. You can look further into the causes of your skin problem, research the different dark spot treatment options, and find a lotion to meet your specific needs on its pages.
How Soon Will I See a Difference?
In most cases, creams will need to be applied once or even twice each day, and the course will last for weeks or months. In the meantime, if you feel self-conscious, you can cover up areas that are particularly noticeable with a concealer – this should help you achieve a smoother-looking complexion in minutes. Pregnancy-related skin conditions are less likely to be long term and usually disappear soon after the baby is born.
Is It Possible to Reduce Future Flare-ups?
It’s not entirely possible to prevent changes in skin color from affecting the complexion. Skin problems linked to your hormones are more difficult to predict or prevent, as are acne and eczema breakouts.
Cases that are linked to spending too much time in the sun are simpler to contain. Fewer hours of UV on your skin means less melanin and a lower chance of hyperpigmentation or unevenness. You can’t avoid the sun altogether, but you can give your skin a break by using a sunscreen each morning as part of your grooming routine. An SPF of 50 or 60 is ideal, and it should be reapplied every few hours for maximum protection.
You can also seek out shady spots on very sunny days, wear sunglasses when you’re outside and put on a wide-brimmed hat for additional coverage.