There are many options available for dark spots treatment, so it is hard to know which one is right for you and get rid of the dark spots for real.
Dark spots can be a real pain; they make you reach for your make up bag all the time. Today, we will tell you exactly why you have dark spots in the first place and 6 dark spot treatments that we recommend and work.
What causes dark spots?
When there is an overproduction of melanin in the skin by melanocytes it causes dark spots or hyperpigmentation. There are various reasons for the increase in melanin, like hormones, the sun, and age.
- Pregnant women see dark spots during pregnancy, but they begin to lighten as soon as it’s over.
- Intense rays from the sun also increase melanin production on the skin.
- Some other causes also include ageing, waxing, skin irritation due to acne and harsh scrubs.
Now that we have made it clear why dark spots appear, let’s dive into their treatments.
Hydroquinone is known to treat dark spots for ages. It works by reducing an enzyme called tyrosinase, which helps in the production of melanin. So, if there is less tyrosinase produced, there will be less melanin as well.
The effects of hydroquinone can appear in 2 weeks. But, most of the time, it requires at least 8 to 12 weeks of use to some visible. Effects depend on factors like the depth of the dark spots and how long they have been on the skin.
There are some side effects like dryness, redness, and burning; it may be a sign that you are allergic to hydroquinone. One other side effect is known as ghosting; it is the lightening of the skin other than the affected area. So, if you want to avoid this, apply hydroquinone lightly on to the center of your dark spot and gently spread it towards the edges.
2. Azelaic acid
Dermatologists usually recommend it for dark spots treatment. Azelaic acid is a natural extract from wheat and oat that hampers the production of abnormal pigmentation. It also has antibacterial characteristics that assist in banishing acne and pimple scars.
You can apply it on your entire face once or twice a day. You can use it alone or along with a moisturizer. Be sure to use sunscreen if you are using it in the day.
Lasers are expensive but most effective in reducing dark spots. These use a targeted beam of light to break up and eliminate the pigmented area in the skin. Intense pulsed light or IPL can treat dark spots. The problem is that it delivers light, which is less focused and may have an unwanted effect on the dark spot’s skin, especially in dark skin tone.
The best laser treatment for hyperpigmentation will provide a cooling blast. So make sure you ask your dermatologist if the laser they’re using treats with a focused and targeted beam. This targeted light beam will prevent unwanted damage to healthy skin.
4. Chemical peel
A chemical peel is an exfoliating treatment that removes the upper layers of dead skin. It helps to brighten the appearance of the skin and make it glowy. As you take this treatment in sessions, it can encourage collagen production and enhance cellular turnover, reducing dark spots.
Be careful because a powerful chemical peel will burn your skin. The most common ingredients you would find in a chemical peel include glycolic, mandelic, salicylic, trichloroacetic acid, and lactic acid. Although homemade peels are available, they are more likely to rub off the dead skin than get deep inside to treat the dark spots.
But you must keep in mind that chemical peels can be harsh, especially on sensitive skin. So talk to your dermatologist before you make any decisions. It usually takes 3 to 6 sessions with intervals of 3 to 4 weeks. However, powerful peels may only require 2 to 3 sessions.
Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive treatment procedure. It is used to revitalize overall skin tone and texture. During a Microdermabrasion procedure, gentle abrasive crystals are passed over your skin in a fine jet.
This will loosen dead skin and removes the top part of the dark spots. And as you repeat the treatment, the dark spots will gradually be removed and likely never to return. Usually, dermatologists recommend three to six treatments more if required, with two to four weeks of intervals. There are some side effects of microdermabrasion like:
- skin swelling.
- Skin redness, similar to a sunburn.
- Burning or stinging sensation
- Increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
Even though you can expect some reaction after the treatment, you should still contact your doctor if the condition aggravates.
Microneedling is a treatment performed using a medical-grade, stainless steel roller covered with hundreds of spikes. Yes, this treatment is not for the faint of the heart. Microneedling creates a series of small injuries so that the skin collagen can rebuild along with elasticity.
Micro-needling combined with other treatments like a wound-healing serum, or hyaluronic acid and vitamin C gives a much better result for hyperpigmentation, usually for dark skin tones.
Microneedling, when done correctly, can give you a brighter complexion a week after treatment. Try to go for 3 or 6 sessions with a dermatologist for better results.
If you want to prevent dark spots, wear sunscreen daily. Even low levels of sunlight exposure can add up to a lifetime causing dark spots. Dark spots will only get darker if exposed to the sun. So, make sure you find a cool and shaded area if the sun is too intense.