Dark Spots Removal in Fort Collins & Loveland, CO
Do you struggle with dark spots on your face? While typically harmless, dark spots on the face can make a person feel insecure about his or her appearance. They’re caused by hyperpigmentation, an overproduction of melanin, but how can you remove them? There are plenty of remedies on the market, but every dark spots remover cream is not going to give you the desired result. In fact, some ingredients in these products can be harmful. Here, we’ll give you the rundown on what causes dark spots and how to treat them.
There are several different reasons you might experience hyperpigmentation. It can happen as part of the aging process or when you go through hormonal changes like pregnancy or menopause. Sun exposure is a major cause of dark spots on the face, but it can also be caused by other types of skin damage. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can be caused by skin damage from acne, bites, cuts, and burns, faulty or excessive hair removal, harsh skin care products, ingrown hairs, and scarring. However, dark spots can also have causes beyond hyperpigmentation, so if you notice any changes to your skin, it’s wise to talk to your dermatologist as soon as possible.
There are a variety of topical treatments to treat dark spots on the skin. Their efficacy depends on largely on the ingredients they contain and the concentration of these ingredients, but it’s also important to use a treatment that addresses your particular issue. Knowing how to remove dark spots caused by pimples is different than being able to remove dark spots caused by hormonal shifts, and your unique skin will also play a role in how well a product works. Let’s look at some common ingredients and their effectiveness.
- Kojic acid is popular but may not be as effective as some other treatments. It’s made from different types of fungi and can also be a by-product of fermented foods like sake, soy sauce, and red wine. Kojic acid works by preventing the formation of tyrosine, an amino acid required to produce melanin, but it can be hard on sensitive skin.
- Retinoids are used to treat the signs of aging, but does retinol remove dark spots? Products that contain retinoic acid are effective in improving skin photoaging, because they stimulate cell turnover, increase the rate of exfoliation, and promote the growth of healthy new skin. These ingredients can be harsh and drying, though, and it’s important to up your sun protection if you choose to use them, as they can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. They take about three to six months to work, and they should not be used during pregnancy.
- Chemical Exfoliants reduce hyperpigmentation by dissolving the top layer of skin cells. Some examples of chemical exfoliants include alpha hydroxy acids, and beta hydroxy acids. They increase the turnover of new skin cells and can be used on dry or sensitive skin. As with retinoids, chemical exfoliants increase sun sensitivity.
- Vitamin C can be very effective in reducing hyperpigmentation. Because it’s an antioxidant, vitamin C neutralizes free radicals and prevents them from damaging the skin and causing hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C is an unstable compound, so it’s typically formulated with other ingredients like vitamin E, retinoids, and soy proteins.
- Azelaic acid is an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation. Made from grains like wheat and barley, it is good for lightening hyperpigmentation caused by acne, as well as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Like kojic acid, it’s a tyrosinase inhibitor, but it’s more potent and less harsh on sensitive skin.
If you want to know how to remove dark spots on the face fast, you should consult with a dermatologist. Cosmetic procedures for dark spots can be very effective, and there are several available to help.
- Laser therapy uses light energy to treat hyperpigmentation. Using a laser, the dermatologist burns off darkened layers of skin. In some cases, it can make discoloration worse, so it will be patch tested before the procedure is performed. Laser therapy is fast and effective, but it can cause side effects like swelling, redness, tightness, scarring, infection, and changes in the texture of the skin.
- Chemical peels are like over-the-counter acid exfoliants, but stronger. They remove discoloration by removing the top layer of skin, and the stronger the peel, the deeper the layers it will treat. Of course, a deeper treatment will require a longer recovery time.
- Microdermabrasion is an exfoliating treatment. Minuscule particles are used to take off dead skin cells, removing the discoloration. There’s no downtime required, but the skin may be irritated and swollen temporarily.
So how do you know which treatment to choose? Finding the treatment that’s right for you depends on a few different factors. Your skin tone is something to consider, and people with dark skin need to be particularly cautious about the products they use. It’s also important to address any underlying conditions that are causing the dark spots, or they will come back after treatment. If your hyperpigmentation is the result of sun damage, you’ll need to be more careful about your sun protection. Vitamin C is a proven treatment for damage caused by UV exposure. If you’re taking any medications, talk to your doctor about whether they are causing or worsening your hyperpigmentation. If your dark spots are caused by hormonal changes, they may fade over time. Talk to your dermatologist to determine whether you’ll need treatment to address them.
Do home remedies work for dark spots? Sometimes. You can find over the counter treatments with the ingredients listed earlier, and they’ll have varying degrees of efficacy. However, there are certain things you should avoid because they can be harmful to your skin. Some people try to bleach their skin with lemon juice, undiluted essential oils, or even liquid bleach, but all of these things can damage the skin. Bleach, in fact, can cause serious burns. Some over-the-counter treatments don’t list all their ingredients, and they may contain steroids, which should never be used without medical supervision. Mercury is another ingredient found in some products, and it is highly toxic. The label will probably not say mercury, though. It will be listed instead as mercuric, calomel, cinnabaris, quicksilver, or hydragyri oxydum rubrum. Never purchase products meant to lighten skin from a company that’s not well respected. Rather, talk to your dermatologist about purchasing safe products.
Whenever you need the help or advice of a dermatologist, you can trust Divine Dermatology and Surgical Institute, Fort Collins’ best name in dermatology. At Divine Dermatology, we provide the highest quality care and the most advanced techniques available, in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. By tailoring treatment plans to meet each patient’s unique needs, and providing personalized attention, we’re able to provide effective care for a wide range of conditions. Our expert skin cancer care includes diagnosis and tumor removal using standard surgical techniques and Mohs micrographic surgery, and we treat both common and rare skin conditions, as well as offering a wide array of cosmetic and aesthetic procedures. Reach out to us to schedule an appointment, call us at 970-399-7744 or contact us through our website.