Causes and Treatments for Dark Spots on Your Skin [infographic]

Removing dark spots that have appeared on your skin can be a hassle to get rid. Once they have formed, the process to remove them can be lengthy and time consuming, though far from impossible. There is a better approach. It called prevention.

There is a process that can be followed that will help minimize dark spots from forming on your skin. It starts with prevention and end with protection. We have created the following quick reference guide that shows the process in order to give you a visual representation of the process. So much easier than reading a lengthy article.

For more information on the process, scroll down below the guide where we get more indepth on each of the steps.

Click here or on image for larger sized versionCauses and Treatment for Dark Spots on Your Skin

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Possible Reasons Why Dark Spot Appear

Age: As we age, our skin, especially skin that has been repeatedly exposed to the sun, is susceptible to accelerated melanin production. This acceleration usually comes in the form of spots of varying color. Protecting our skin at younger ages and minimizing sun exposure can help prevent the onset of age spots later in life.

Sun Exposure: Melanin production, the process that causes our skin to darken, is a result in the skins efforts to protect us from the harmful effects of UV rays coming from the sun. This often comes in the form of dark spots and freckles. Reducing sun exposure can reduce the production of melanin, thus reducing the formation of spots.

Scar Tissue: This one is a little hard to avoid as minor injuries, surgical procedures and other reasons we all have scars, are part of life. Typically the skin that make up scars is a different color than our normal skin tone. This is due to an increase in blood in the tissue as well as inflammation, both of which can initially cause the scar skin to be red or purple in color. Over time, the skin can either darken or lighten. Luckily, there are options for both.

Hormones: Hormones can play a big role in the color of our skin, especially in pregnant women. Hormone fluctuations in pregnant women can be very extreme, as most people who have been around one, or has been one, will attest to. Such hormone extremes can result in a skin disorder called Melasma, a overall darkening of the skin or areas of the skin. It is sometimes referred to as “The Mask of Pregnancy”. Hormones are not easy to control and hormone therapy can be expensive and unpredictable. There are other options though.

Genetics: Yes, unfortunately, sometimes we are just more likely to  have dark spots because that is what our family history had been. If your family is one such family, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are destined for a life of dark spot on your skin. What it really means is that you just need to be more aware of your skin’s exposure to the sun and taking extra steps to minimize it. Additional treatments and skin protection may also be necessary.

Chemical is Products: Many people hate to admit it or accept it, but there are substances in so many of the things we buy today that are just not good for us, no matter who has “approved” them for human use. Our skin is the first line of defense to the dangers of the outside world.  However, it is also a porous organ and chemical absorption occurs all the time. Build up of these chemicals can produce dark spots on the skin, especially when combined with sun exposure. Keep in mind, we aren’t just talking about man made chemicals here. Naturally occurring chemicals, like acids from lemon and limes, can be just as strong and can lead to skin discoloration.

Treatment and Prevention

1 – Limit sun exposure: As discussed above, sun exposure has a direct correlation with dark spots on your skin. Limiting the amount of time your skin is exposed to the sun will help. There are clothing companies like Solumbra. That specialize in clothing with SPF built in. Wearing a wide brimmed hat when out working in the yard or going for a walk on a hot summer day can really help reduce your skins exposure. Also, just stay in the shade when possible. A little sun exposure can be healthy as your body does need the Vitamin D, but keep in the shade as much as possible.

2 – Microdermabrasion: One of the coolest things about our skin is that it is in a constant state of rejuvenation. It is always producing new skin cells and sloughing off old, dead skin cells, even as we get older. Unfortunately, sometimes it just doesn’t do it quick enough. Microdermabrasion is a great way to speed up the process without damaging the skin.

Why is that a good thing? Because it can remove darkened skin cells quicker, which will allow for more of your normal colored skin cells to be produced in a shorter period of time. Not overnight mind you, but faster than the natural process. Additionally, microdermabrasion will open up the pores in the skin during treatment, which will allow any topical creams you might be using to penetrate deeper into the skin and be more effective.

And here is the best part. Once upon a time, in order to get a microdermabrasion treatment, you had to visit a spa or treatment clinic. This meant setting up an appointment, driving to the clinic, waiting in the office, getting the treatment, and then driving home. That is no longer necessary thanks to the development of in-home microdermabrasion systems where you can get the exact same treatment in the convenience of your own home. Even better, there are now portable microdermabrasion machines that you can use almost anywhere. How convenient is that?

3 – Apply Specially Formulated Topical Creams:  Immediately following a microdermabrasion treatment is a great time to apply topical creams that are specially formulated for treating skin discoloration, like dark spots, melasma, and other types of hyperpigmentation. These creams are designed to reduce melanin production, the substance in our skin that causes discoloration. My absolute favorite is Amaira’s Natural Lightening Serum. This cream has been shown to be one of the most effective creams for reducing melanin production and thus reducing and preventing the appearance of dark spots on your skin.

4 – Protect Skin: This falls in line with step 1 and completes the cycle. Protecting your skin against the damaging rays of the sun is vital in preventing skin discoloration and dark spots. Wearing a high SPF sunscreen has become a very important part of skin care and skin protection. Those with fairer skin should also consider wearing sunscreen if they are indoors but spend a lot of time near a sunny window, like a corner office, or a south facing living room. Keep in mind that you can even get sunburned on cloudy days. The clouds in the sky do not block out the suns UV rays. So just because you aren’t getting direct exposure doesn’t mean that damages can’t occur.

High quality skin moisturizers are also an important part of a well rounded skin care regimen. Keeping the skin moist and subtle will allow for healthier looking skin. An added bonus is that many high quality moisturizers theses days  contain SFP, very convenient.

Finally, getting a facial is a great way to keep  up with what your skin needs. A good esthetician can identify what your skin needs and recommend certain treatments that can be very beneficial.