How to Get Rid of Dark Spots for a Smooth & Even Skin Tone
Dark Spots, What are They?
Age spots, liver spots, hyperpigmentation – these are all common names of the dark spots that pop up on the face, chest, arms, and other areas of the body frequently exposed to the sun.
Dark spots appear over time, become more numerous as we age, and are harmless. But this doesn’t mean you want them around. Here’s the full scoop on your skin and dark spots and what can be done about them.
Different Types of Darks & Causes
When we talk about dark spots or age spots, most of the time, what we’re really talking about are spots known as solar lentigo. These are spots of discoloration that appear due to excess melanin in the skin cells, almost exclusively as the result of UV exposure.
Most of us aren’t perpetually living under a UV shield, so almost everyone will have a few of these spots by the time they reach their 50s, but they tend to be more numerous in people who have enjoyed lots of sun in their lives or have used tanning beds.
Solar lentigo is a flat area of discoloration that may be round, oval, or present with an irregular shape. The color of these spots varies, but they are generally the same color throughout. They may be very small, and most are under an inch in diameter. Clusters of these spots grouped together may appear as one larger spot. They may be slightly scaly but are generally not raised.
Solar lentigo spots are harmless and don’t become cancerous. However, if you’re noticing new spots, it’s always a good idea to check in with a dermatologist.
Melasma is another type of skin discoloration that is generally confined to the face. It presents as clusters or patches of freckle-like spots. Melasma may appear over the entire face, or it can be confined to certain areas, such as the forehead or upper lip.
Melasma is mostly seen in women and tends to appear due to hormonal changes. Melasma is often referred to as the “mask of pregnancy” because it frequently appears during pregnancy but slowly fades during the postpartum period. Melasma may also occur with the use of hormonal contraceptives. Melasma can be made worse with sun exposure.
Like solar lentigo, melasma is harmless and is not a precursor to skin cancer. The good news is that melasma almost always fades on its own, although the process is slower if you’re out in the sun a lot. But, don’t worry; there are steps you can take to speed the process along.
Other Types of Dark Spots:
- Moles: These can appear anywhere on the body, with new ones appearing throughout childhood and young adulthood. Moles can range in color from light to dark brown, red, or black. New moles or any mole that changes in size, shape, or color should be evaluated by a dermatologist.
- Seborrheic Keratosis: These types of spots are often confused with solar lentigo. They share some similar features but tend to be slightly raised and scaly or rough. You might be tempted to try and pick these off of your skin, but don’t!
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: This occurs as a result of some type of injury or wound to the skin, such as bug bites, acne, chemical peels, and laser treatments. As part of the healing process, hyperpigmentation may form.
- Skin Cancers: There are three main types of skin cancers – basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. Each of these skin cancers presents differently, so if you’ve noticed any new spots, a spot that has changed, or something just doesn’t look right to you, check with a dermatologist. Skin cancers can be treatable when caught early.
Causes of Dark Spots on the Skin
- Sun Exposure: Exposure to the sun or using tanning beds is by far the leading cause of skin discoloration. Always wear sunscreen, even if you don’t currently have any dark spots or discoloration.
- Age: Discoloration occurs as a result of sun exposure over time. This means that it becomes much more common as we age. Almost everyone has at least a couple of these spots by the time they reach fifty years old.
- Medications: Certain medications may cause skin discoloration, including birth control pills. The discoloration typically fades once the medication has been discontinued.
- Hormonal Changes: Pregnancy is a prime time for skin discolorations, such as melasma, to appear. Hormonal medications and other transitions where hormones are in flux, such as perimenopause, can increase the appearance of dark spots.
- Genetics & Ethnicity: Patterns of dark spots and skin discoloration often runs in families. People with more melanin in their skin are also more prone to dark spots.
- Certain Health Conditions: People with certain health conditions, such as diabetes, may be more prone to dark spots; if you’ve noticed a sudden increase in discoloration and can’t attribute any other cause, it doesn’t hurt to check with your doctor.
How to make dark spots fade?
Skin discolorations and dark spots don’t have to be a regular fixture on your skin. There are multiple ways to lessen their appearance or remove them entirely.
First, it’s important to recognize the value of prevention. Even though you can get rid of dark spots, new ones may form, so prevention is key.
Develop a good skincare routine, nourish your skin from the inside out, and always wear a non-toxic sunscreen when you’re out in the sun.
Using a product like SIBU Luxe Oil helps nourish, protect, and heal the skin with ingredients like argan oil, sunflower oil, rosehip, lavender, frankincense, and sea buckthorn oil. Sea buckthorn provides nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, along with antioxidants and essential fatty acids to help heal and restore the skin.
Home remedies, including masks made with lemon juice and yogurt, may help to lighten skin discolorations, but the result will be minimal, and these types of home remedies don’t work for everyone. Regular gentle exfoliation may also help lighten discoloration, especially with melasma.
For permanent removal of dark spots, a trip to the dermatologist is in order. Your dermatologist can perform treatments such as laser therapy, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and cryotherapy, depending on your skin type and the severity of discoloration.
Care for your skin now, prevent dark spots later
Taking good care of your skin now is the best thing you can do for the health and appearance of your skin in the future. Feed your body with nutritious foods, get lots of fresh air and exercise (don’t forget the sunscreen), and use clean, nourishing products like SIBU Luxe Oil to restore, heal, and protect your skin from head to toe.