Fade Dark Spots Without Irritation
We can always attest that laugh lines are an indication of a well-lived life. However, if you have not-so-subtle coffee-colored patches on your face, neck, and other sun-exposed areas, I believe you view them otherwise. When your skin is under the influence of hormones and genetics and not forgetting the sun exposure, hyperpigmentation is likely to occur. Most women suffer from skin discoloration as soon as they turn 40. As the tan you got during summer fade away, the unwanted spots begin to show.
Unfortunately, you have to suffer the effects of sun damaged skin well past your summer days. Just imagine, all those summers in the sun coming back to haunt you years down the road. Skin damage is usually the accumulated effect of many summers.
Using sunscreen is one way to reduce damages from UV rays. However, you can’t completely shut out the sun.
During your mom or your grandmother’s time, women did not think too much about changes to their skin. But today, things are different. People have greater health and skin awareness. If dark spots bother you a lot, you can get rid of them for good using the right products and strategies.
How does skin discoloration form? The amount of melanin in your skin determines how dark or light it is. Melanocytes usually manufacture a normal amount of melanin. This is not the case when they start to get lots of sun. It causes an increase in melanin production. Those extra pigments will show up as dark spots on your skin. To clear up your skin, the first thing you need to do is identify what kind of spots you have.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is more common among those with dark skin tones. These spots appear after the healing of a burn, abrasion, or pimple. It could take up to half a year or more to fade these marks because the melanin problem has extended deep into your skin’s layers.
Melasma is very common among women. It affects about 90% of women. The loss of pigment causes the balance of 10% to have white blotches. However, eventually, the white patches will become dark.
Compared to women, men are less afflicted by skin discoloration, probably because of hormones.
The spike in the level of estrogen is the result of pregnancy, sun exposure, and birth control pills. That is why some women have hyperpigmentation. It has been reported that after labor, some women have increased levels of melanin. Melasma will diminish at some point with ongoing breastfeeding. Unfortunately, there are times it refuses to budge.
If a certain part of your body is exposed to the sun a lot, it is very likely for age spots to appear there. You won’t see the skin damage immediately but prolonged sun exposure will lead to the development of spots months or years later. These spots will remain visible unless you do something about them. However, they are responsive to treatment because they linger near the epidermis.
Do not be deceived into thinking that your dark spots can disappear quickly by using short cuts. Nevertheless, improvements to your skin is possible if you do the right thing.
Sun Protection Is A Must
If you go outdoors often, it is recommended that you use sunscreen. To filter out the light that is responsible for the increase of pigmentation, you should get one with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
Exfoliate Your Skin Regularly
The accumulation of melanin begins in the upper layers of your skin. As the cells in the skin renews itself, it naturally sheds off the accumulated melanin over time. If you want to speed up the elimination process, then exfoliation is the only way. You can use chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or a basic facial scrub to remove dead skin cells.
Treat Your Brown Spots With Lightening Creams
Pigmentation usually happens near the upper cheeks. Creams are prescribed for pigmentation that is in close proximity with the eyes. If you have skin discoloration on dark skin, then the most common treatment is skin lighteners. They harness the power of depigmenting agents such as tretinoin, kojic acid, hydroquinone, arbutin, and azaleic acid. Usually the results can be seen in less than four months.
Quite a lot of spot treatments include kojic acid in their formula. Yet if you have sensitive skin, you should avoid it as it can irritate your skin. It looks like niacinamide has the makings of an effective natural skin lightener. This vitamin B derivative is found in most effective skin lightening creams for the purpose of treating melasma. There are clinical studies to back up this statement. Niacinamide was seen to significantly reduce hyperpigmentation and increase skin fairness after 4 weeks of use.
Should You Use Hydroquinone
Acne marks are known as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and generally will become less noticeable in three months. For speedy fading, you can use skin lighteners. They produce faster results than laser because of their dependence on hydroquinone.
For hyperpigmentation treatment, the maximum concentration of hydroquinone allowed by the US Food and Drug Administration is 4%. Arguably, it is the gold standard as far as treating hyperpigmentation is concerned. So, all existing lightening substances are no match to it.
Similar to the fear of steroid creams, the fear of hydroquinone is baseless. Most of our foods and beverages contain hydroquinone. As long as you don’t deviate from the guidelines issued by your dermatologist, it is safe to use. It cannot be sold like any over-the-counter product or added into cosmetics.
Aggressive Medical Approaches
You are likely to consider using laser, intense pulse light (IPL) or fruit acid peels for stubborn spots.
When the hyperpigmentation develops on the surface of the skin, lasers like Fraxel tend to be most effective and have the longest-lasting results.
For treating certain spots, intense pulsed light (IPL) is recommended. Light waves are emitted to cause melanin pigments to fragment. You may experience discomfort with this method.
When it comes to IPL or laser, you should first determine the credentials of the doctor who handles the equipment. Lasers or IPL must be administered very carefully as they can cause scarring and burning, particularly in very dark skin.
If you want to improve the color of your skin, try chemical peels. Fruit acids or enzymes work to get rid of the layer of dead skin cells found on top of your skin. After the peel removes the dead cells, your skin will become flaky, red, and dry, but depending on the potency of the peel, the fresh regenerated skin will show itself after approximately a week or two.