woman touching her face

Got Dark Spots? Here’s What’s Causing Them

Everyone has had a bad skin day at least once in their lives. A pimple pops up overnight and without warning. Sometimes they turn up on an important day, which can be very annoying. But after having to deal with it for a couple of days to a week, there’s the aftermath of it. There’s the dark spot to deal with. The dark spot now appears in place of where the pimple used to be. Although generally dark spots can be covered with some concealer and makeup, this isn’t a long-term solution.

Experiencing hyperpigmentation on the skin is normal and nothing to be alarmed about. However, it can be a nuisance to deal with. They will more likely fade over time, but other times the spots can stay for months or even years especially if the spots are deep.

What Causes Dark Spots?

Some skin cells happen to have more melanin than others. Melanin is what gives color to your skin, and with other cells having more than others, a dark patch is more likely to form. This is what’s known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. With that said, individuals with more melatonin or naturally have dark skin, are prone to hyperpigmentation.

Many people have the habit of touching or squeezing a pimple, thinking that by doing so it’ll go away faster. The inflammation can last longer when you pick or squeeze a blemish, making it more likely to cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Additionally, it leaves the blemish exposed to bacteria and vulnerable to infection.

Certain medications, changes in hormone levels, or even diseases can affect melanin production in women.

Are Dark Spots and Acne Scars the Same?

Inflammation has interrupted the skin’s natural healing process, resulting in patches that persist after a pimple has healed. After the skin is opened (similar to when you pop a pimple) it heals and closes back together, resulting in pigmentation, texture, and tone that looks different front the rest of your skin. With some time and a proper skincare routine, this will go away and leave your skin looking like the pigmentation was never there.

One person’s skin is different from another’s, so it’s difficult to determine what causes a person to scar. However, sometimes the acne mark is caused by picking and squeezing, other times it’s caused by an aggressive blemish that will surely leave a mark. Acne scars occur when the normal tissue or surface of the skin is damaged and replaced by new fibrous tissue. Your body regenerates new skin tissue as it heals, just like a wound, resulting in an uneven surface.

How To Treat Dark Spots

woman touching her face

If the damage is done and seems irreversible on your own, consider consulting a dermatologist. There are different ways to tackle this, depending on the severity of the hyperpigmentation. There are medical, surgical, and nonsurgical therapies. Usually, topical treatments can do the trick. But sometimes the hyperpigmentation is too unmanageable for topical treatments.

Your dermatologist may recommend chemical peeling or laser therapy for uncooperative hyperpigmentation. These treatments also target other skin problems. Chemical peeling is also good for getting rid of wrinkles, the same goes for laser treatment for acne scars.

How Can Dark Spots Be Prevented?

The sun’s effect on the skin is so often underestimated that nobody thinks twice about stepping outside without any protection. Everyone needs some sunscreen, dark spots, or no dark spots.

Hyperpigmentation becomes more obvious after some sun exposure. The sun’s UV irradiation darkens the hyperpigmentation, making it even darker than it was before. To prevent this from happening, apply sunscreen with at least a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30. Be sure to wear sunscreen every day, especially when stepping out o the house. Additionally, limiting your exposure to the sun helps too. Keep a hat or an umbrella with you especially for activities that require you to stay outdoors for long periods.

Another tip worth mentioning is to stop picking at your skin. Picking at the dark spot could exacerbate it and may even lead it to a scar. Leave it to do its course or consult a professional for advice.

Getting dark spots is normal. It’s part of the healing process of your skin, especially after a pimple’s lifetime. Although it’s seldom controllable on your own, these are some ways that can help speed up the lightening process. But because everybody’s skin is different, one’s reaction may be different from another. Bear in mind that it’s best to consult a professional than taking drastic measures to speed up the process on your own.

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