Otherwise known as hyperpigmentation, dark spots are areas of the skin that are producing an excess amount of pigment, giving that part of the skin a darker color. This can occur due to many different reasons, some of them much more easily preventable than others. OROGOLD takes a look at exactly why dark spots happen.
Melanin is the pigment that gives color to the skin, and UV light from the sun speeds up the body’s production of melanin. When unprotected sun exposure is experienced over long periods of time, this causes clusters of melanin to build up, which results in a dark spot. This cause of dark spots is easily preventable if you use effective sun protection methods. This means that in addition to using a broad spectrum sunscreen, you should also be wearing enough clothing to shield your skin, and should also avoid being in the sun during 11am to 4pm, as these are the hottest, and most damaging, hours of the day.
Hormonal changes can also cause dark spots to occur. If you are taking certain medication, such as the birth control pill, or are pregnant, then your estrogen and progesterone levels can increase, and this triggers the production of melanin. The dark spots that are caused by this are known as melasma, and those who are pregnant will usually find that the dark spots have faded six months after giving birth. If you suspect that your dark spots may be caused by your birth control pills, OROGOLD recommends speaking to your doctor about switching to another one.
Acne is a common cause of dark spots, and these are known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is your skin’s way of naturally responding to the wound that has been inflicted upon it, by releasing certain substances to help it to heal. These substances then speed up the production of melanin, resulting in dark patches in those areas. Luckily, these are not permanent, and are not the same thing as acne scars. However, it can take up to two years for these to fade, so you may want to invest in some lightening products to help speed up the process.
In order to successfully treat your dark spots, you need to first know exactly what has caused them. While you may already have an idea of this, OROGOLD would advise that you never rely solely on a self-diagnosis, and visit a professional as soon as you can. There are many different treatment methods for dark spots, from ones that you can do at home to ones that need to be carried out by a professional, so the sooner you are able to start exploring these, the sooner your dark spots can be taken care of. No matter which treatment option you choose, remember that continued sun exposure will only darken your spots even more, so it is important to be extremely vigilant about sun protection.