What are dark spots or hyperpigmentation?
Melanin is what gives your skin its colour and high concentrations of this pigment mean a darker complexion. As you age, the production of melanin becomes uneven. It may be secreted in higher amounts in some areas of the face and body causing discolouration which can appear as dark spots, age spots or hyperpigmentation. Melanin is also produced in high amounts to protect your skin against the sun and that is how you get a tanned look. Sometimes it is produced in high concentrations in some parts of the body or face leading to dark spots.
5 Causes of dark spots and hyperpigmentation
Identifying what is going on with the skin is the first step towards treatment. Dark spots are derived from irregular production of melanin and an imbalance in pigmentation. Here are some factors that may interfere with normal production of melanin and cause hyperpigmentation:
- Sun rays: The UV rays can cause a lot of damage to your skin. Facial redness, acne, dry skin and dark spots are all signs of overexposure to the sun. When you do not apply a sunscreen, the melanin production shoots up and tries to form a protective layer on your skin. This darkens the skin complexion and over a period of time may cause dark spots to appear.
- Acne: When acne gets inflamed or is exposed to harsh skincare products, it becomes severe and can leave marks on the face and neck which may darken and appear as spots or a cluster of brown marks.
- Age: As you age, the melanin production does not remain the same. When combined with sun damage, and other skin issues this may result in age spots in the form of tan, brown or black patches that appear on the face and neck.
- Hormones: Hormonal changes directly affect the production of melanin. Women experience it during pregnancy, menopause and whilst using contraceptive pills. In fact, about 90% women experience dark spots during pregnancy.
- Genetics: If dark spots, freckles or skin problems run in the family, you may experience it too. Just like your skin colour or hair texture, the melanin production cycles can also be passed on in the family.
4 types of dark spots
Some spots or marks start appearing on the face at an early age while some at different stages of life. They are known by different names but are all types of hyperpigmentation and have common causes.
Freckles: These are commonly visible on people with a fair complexion. In case of people with lighter skin tones, the melanin production is less and when exposed to sun, these individuals suffer from an uneven discolouration instead of a complete tan leading to freckles.
Sun spots: Also known as solar lentigos which sounds like a scary name (but is not), these are caused as with age and because of the sun. Hence, these are observed mainly on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun like the face, neck, arms or upper chest and are also observed more in men than women.
Acne spots: It is difficult not to pop or squeeze pimples. This popping or squeezing of acne leads to inflammation which in turn may cause acne spots that are dark and difficult to remove.
Melasma: This occurs in pregnant women and is also known as the mask of pregnancy. It is caused due to hormonal changes during pregnancy and is commonly seen on the face and around the neck. Women on birth control pills may also see signs of melasma. It often fades away post pregnancy or once women stop using contraceptive pills.
Tips to prevent dark spots and hyperpigmentation
Unfortunately, dark spots are not as easy to remove as wrinkles. Hence, it is best to prevent them with a few changes in the skincare routine.
- Do not pop or squeeze acne as this can easily help prevent any possible dark spots incidences.You can also get rid of acne scars with these easy tips.
- Exfoliate regularly as it helps remove all the dead skin cells and expose the new fresh layers of skin. A good exfoliant can help lighten the dark spots and may add life to dull and hyper pigmented skin.
- Use a sunscreen regularly. Using a sunscreen every time you step out in the sun can regulate the production of melanin and may prevent sun spots or dark spots.
- Use night creams as they work to boost the skin repair mechanism of the body. The natural ingredients soothe inflammations and can improve skin texture over a period of time.
Special tip – Applying raw milk after coming back from the sun helps reduce the damage that sun rays may cause during the day. The lactic acid in the milk can even out the discolouration.
Natural Solutions to get rid of dark spots and hyperpigmentation
The process for getting rid of dark spots is slow because melanin is already present in the skin cells and reducing it requires time. People are increasingly drifting towards organic and natural skin care solutions to tackle most skin problems. The correct combination of natural ingredients in the skin lightening products helps lighten the appearance of dark spots. The natural antioxidants in these creams or lotions can also protect the skin from damage and are known to have no side effects. Here are some natural solutions or over the counter products available for lightening the dark spots:
- Sunscreen: Protecting your skin from the sun is the best defence against dark spots or hyperpigmentation. Hence, using a good sunscreen every day is a safe choice.
- Serums: These contain higher and potent concentration of organic ingredients that work towards correcting the appearance of dark spots.
- Herbal supplements: While chemical laden skincare products only contribute to skin problems, herbal supplements address it from within. They provide the necessary nutrients that may improve the skin texture and revitalise it.
- Skin brightening creams and lotions: These are known to brighten and refine the skin by slowing down the melanin production.
Advanced Dark spots and Hyperpigmentation Treatments
- Intensed Pulse Laser: This procedure involves targeting the dark spots with a high intensity laser beam hoping that it will get rid of the dark spots and give you a matching skin tone. It is a trial and error method and in case of dark skin toned individuals, can leave you with white or lighter patches.
- Chemical peels: These may have been a preferred choice among many but the use of extensive chemicals may cause scarring and further damage. Often, the new skin that reveals post the procedure may differ from the original skin colour.
The frustration of the unsightly patches that take long to lighten often makes people opt for advanced treatments. However, exposing the skin to laser or chemicals can be damaging. These treatments not only break the bank but come with a host of side effects.
The final word
With some diligence, patience and a good natural solution, it is possible to see the visible effects of skin lightning in a few months. The range of natural products at ShytoBuy is designed to help correct the appearance of uneven skin tone, reverse, reduce and eliminate the discoloration. Our products aim to reveal the inner radiance of your skin by deeply cleansing and purifying it and offering a spotless complexion.
Don’t stop enjoying the outdoors but limit your sun exposure during peak hours. Adapt to basic modifications in the skincare routine and when you choose an alternative solution to tackle your dark spots, allow it to work and show results.