dark spots

Do you have dark spots on your skin? This may be caused by hyperpigmentation when the skin produces more melanin than usual. Melanin is a natural pigment that gives the eyes, skin, and hair a dark color.

There are various causes of hyperpigmentation, such as aging or sun exposure. While these dark spots are usually not a cause for concern and don’t need to be treated, you may want to get them removed for cosmetic reasons. 

In this article, we will run you through everything you need to learn about dark spots and how to treat them.

Symptoms of Dark Spots

You may start noticing light brown to dark brown spots appearing on your face, shoulders, back, or back of your hands. These areas are usually areas exposed to the sun.

These spots can vary in size, but they are not painful and are the same texture as your skin.

Common Causes of Dark Spots 

Dark spots may start to appear due to any of the following reasons:

  • Sun exposure and UV damage from tanning beds
  • Hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy which can cause patches of discoloration
  • Some medications can increase skin pigmentation and cause dark spots as a side effect. These are common in non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), tetracyclines, and other drugs.
  • Inflammation due to eczema, psoriasis, acne, and skin injuries can cause the skin to develop dark spots.
  • Insect bites, burns, cuts, and other wounds may cause dark spots after healing.
  • Diabetes and other conditions associated with it can cause areas of the skin to become darker.

Preventing Dark Spots

It may not be possible to prevent dark spots from developing on the skin at times. However, you can reduce your chances of developing these spots or prevent them from getting darker through the following:

  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day.
  • Protect your skin from sun exposure.
  • Make sure you treat your skin conditions that can lead to inflammation.

Removing Dark Spots

If you want to remove dark spots for cosmetic reasons, you can choose from the following treatment options:

  • Chemical peels
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Laser therapy
  • Injectable skin lightening products
  • Skin-lightening creams
  • Hydroquinone

Home Remedies You Can Try

You can also go for home remedies and natural skincare methods. You can apply products with natural ingredients such as niacinamide, aloe vera, soy, mulberry, and others.

You can also try a natural tree bark face mask to lighten the dark spots over time.

Over-The-Counter Creams Available

Over-the-counter creams are not as strong as prescription medications but may also work on lightening dark spots. These creams often include retinol or alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) ingredients.

It’s advisable to go for one recommended by a dermatologist, as some of these products can be harmful when not used properly.

Cosmetics to Cover Them Up

While cosmetics can’t lighten your dark spots, they can easily cover them up. You can use cream-based concealers to lighten the appearance of the spots.


Dark spots may appear naturally due to various factors such as sun exposure, hormonal changes, and health conditions. While they are not harmful and do not require treatment, there are multiple options for you to treat or lighten their appearance.

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