Dark spots are very common. Older adults, people with fair skin, and those who have spent a lot of time in the sun are most prone to dark spots. They appear most often on sun exposed areas, such as the face, hands, shoulders, and arms. Age spots are harmless and don’t need treatment however in some cases, prescription creams and procedures can make them less noticeable. People with darker skin, a spot that is a few shades darker than the skin usually fades within 6 to 12 months.
There are several causes for dark spots. Sun Damage is the most common after exposing skin to the sun or tanning beds. Hormones can play a factor as well. Melasma is a skin condition that causes small patches of skin to have discoloration. This is common in women during pregnancy. Medications can also lead to increased skin pigmentation and dark spots. The most common medications that cause this are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, tetracyclines, and psychotropic drugs. Dark spots can also develop after inflammation of this skin. Inflammation of the skin can be caused by eczema, psoriasis, injury to the skin, or acne. Diabetes can cause areas of the skin to become dark. Conditions associated with diabetes include acanthosis nigricans which causes darkened, velvety skin, and shine spots which people may confuse with age spots.
Here are some ways to treat dark spots:
- Topical treatments
- Laster treatments
- Chemical peels
- HydraFacial with a radiance booster (www.joannayoung.com/hydrafacial)
To prevent dark spots, I suggest using SPF every day, cover up the skin when it is sunny out, and avoid peak sun hours as UV exposure is the main culprit of sun spots.