Any dark spots on your face can cause anxiety and self-consciousness. This emotional response can be the result of worrying about sinister skin conditions or disliking the appearance of dark spots on your skin. Dark spots on the face may be due to many different causes. However, the four most common types of dark on face spots are:
Common Dark Spots on the Face
1. Age Spots, Sunspots (Solar Lentigo), Liver Spots
Sunspots, also known as solar lentigo (solar lentigines-plural), liver spots, and age spots, are one of the more common types of dark spots on your face. Sunspots develop because of sun exposure or sun damage and can occur throughout our lifetimes.
If you have a history of sunburns, then you are more likely to develop sunspots. Please remember the ultraviolet (UV) light from any source such as tanning beds or UV lamps may also lead up to the growth of sunspots.
Age spots develop because of melanin (the substance that gives your skin pigment) being over produced. This can happen due to the aging process, hormonal fluctuations, skin inflammation or skin damage from using the incorrect products for your skin.
Generally, sunspots are small and uniform. Any sunspot can over time turn into melanoma (see below). However, most sunspots, age spots or liver spots will only be harmless pigment spots. Please see the ABCDE rule below as this is a helpful guide when looking for signs of melanoma.
Age Spot Treatment & Prevention
Good sun protection is one of the best ways to prevent sunspots from developing. You can protect your skin and limit age spots by wearing sunscreen when outdoors during peak sun hours.
Dermatologist Approved Products that Lighten Dark Spots
Your dermatologist may prescribe (OTC) creams, prescription creams or other types of procedures to lighten dark spots on face. OTC creams contain hydroquinone or retinol as their active ingredients. But your dermatologist may sometimes prescribe stronger versions of the hydroquinone, or a prescription medicine known as tretinoin. Tretinoin is a type of medicine that is more potent than OTC retinol. These chemical treatments do come with side effects & may cause long term damage to the skin.
Natural Products to Lighten Dark Spots
Our Buttermilk Cleanser is a nourishing cleanser containing lactic acid that gently removes damaged skin and lightens dark spots on the face. And the Rasayana Rejuvenating Serum contains natural beta carotene from rosehips. This converts to a natural retinol that the skin can use to lighten age and sunspots. This serum also contains a powerful Ayurvedic herb, gotu kola that speeds up skin healing to quickly resolve damage and lighten pigmentation.
Chemical Treatments to Lighten Dark Spots
Chemical peels use a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of the skin. This may help reduce the appearance of pigmentation. However chemical peels can also cause burning and damage to the skin. It takes a week or more for your skin to recover from a chemical peel. Dermatologists may also recommend cryotherapy and dermabrasion. Although cryotherapy may be uncomfortable, freezing age spots can quickly damage melanin-producing cells. In the long term, this may result in hypopigmentation – white spots on skin. So do use these treatments with care. Dermabrasion takes longer to see results. Studies show that patients who receive treatment twice a week for 16 weeks will see sunspots disappear.
Effective, Fast Natural Treatment to Lighten Dark Spots
The Dermal Renewal Facial is a chemical free alternative to a chemical peel. It removes dark spots quickly without the side effects of chemical peels. The Dermal Renewal Facial uses fruit enzymes to break down a protein called keratin. Keratin is only found in dead or damaged cells. By removing dead and damaged cells the Dermal Renewal Facial lightens ages spots fast and reveals fresher, healthier, younger looking skin.
2. Post inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
The second most common condition we see causing dark spots on the face is known as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Any condition which involves inflammation of the skin (especially acne), may cause an increase in the production of pigment. This leaves behind darker areas. Often these spots may fade on their own, but it can take months or longer.
There are two important factors in the treating post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. First, it is important to treat the underlying condition which leads to the dark spots on your skin. This can help reduce the number of spots that develop. Second, staying away from ultraviolet light (the sun or tanning beds) is incredibly important. Light from tanning beds or the sun may darken inflammatory spots and make them last longer.
If you have acne or any other inflammatory condition, we recommend having the Prana Detox Facial every 2 to 4 weeks until the inflammation settles. Thereafter you can have the Dermal Renewal Facial to lighten any existing dark spots. To maximise your results and resolve acne permanently, you would need to care for your skin at home with the Total Detox Facial kit. This simple 3 step routine ensures your skin remains acne free.
3. Seborrheic Keratosis
Seborrheic keratosis is a type of growth that may be dark in colour. Seborrheic keratosis can appear anywhere on the body but is most commonly seen on the face. These dark spots develop in adulthood and tend to increase in number as you age. These appear as a scaling, rough, dark, raised bumps that you could pick off your skin.
Seborrheic Keratosis Treatment Options
Seborrheic keratosis does not require treatment. However, for cosmetic reasons a dermatologist may treat it with liquid nitrogen cryotherapy (freezing). The Total Detox Facial kit helps reduce inflammation and is effective in preventing seborrheic keratosis.
Moles can also appear as dark spots on the face. Their appearance varies from different shades of colour and size. When evaluating moles, for concern that they may be cancerous/melanoma, dermatology professionals look to see that moles are uniform in appearance. To remove a mole, a dermatologist may perform a biopsy-type procedure.
A fifth cause of dark areas on the face is a form of skin cancer known as melanoma. Melanomas on the face may occur spontaneously or develop within a pre-existing sunspot or mole. The most important thing to consider when looking for melanomas is that moles/spots are uniform, melanomas are not. The ABCDE rule is a helpful tool to use when evaluating at any dark spots on our skin.
Follow the ABCDE Rule
- Asymmetry – Non-cancerous moles are typically uniform and symmetrical in shape.
- Border – Melanoma often has borders that are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
- Colour – Moles that are benign (non-cancerous) are typically one colour and do not include different shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
- Diameter – Melanoma growths are normally larger than 6mm in diameter.
- Evolving – Unlike most benign moles, melanoma changes over time. If you have a mole or skin growth, watch it for signs of changes in size, shape, or colour.
If you notice any of the ACBDEs of melanoma, it is important that you contact your dermatologist immediately and schedule an appointment. Performing regular skin checks at home, as well as annual skin checks with a dermatologist, can help you catch skin cancer before it becomes life-threatening.