As we age, the skin cells on our bodies naturally produce less and less melanin – a pigment that gives your skin its natural color. This can lead to an accumulation of dead cells that form dark spots or patches on your skin.
You might also notice these patches as you get older if you smoke cigarettes or have been sunburned many times in the past. These dark spots may just be unsightly, but luckily there are ways to help reduce their appearance and possibly eliminate them for good so that they don’t bother you again.
What are dark spots and how do they form
Dark spots are areas of your skin with a higher concentration of melanin. This pigment is what gives your skin its natural color. The spots can be darker than the surrounding skin, and they often look like patches or blemishes.
They can form for a variety of reasons. One is because you produce less melanin as you age. Another reason is if you’ve been exposed to UV radiation from the sun or from tanning beds. Smoking cigarettes can also cause them, as can getting repeated sunburns.
When you get acne or pimples, the damage caused by pimples can also lead to dark spots. Quite often, acne sufferers have a mixture of lighter and darker patches on their faces.
The good news is that there are ways to reduce their appearance and possibly get rid of them for good.
How to get rid of dark spots on your skin – the quick fix
Sun protection: Getting a tan doesn’t have to be about looking great! The sun can also cause dark spots on your skin. Avoid it by applying sunscreen every day. Use one that has an SPF rating over 50 if necessary.
Topical AHA: Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) work wonders on the face to remove dead skin cells and dark spots. You can also use AHA for underarms or bikini regions if you want a brighter underarm area. But if you’re considering a faster or more permanent way to reduce dark underarms, you’ll need to research underarm whitening treatments.
Topical retinol: Retinol is excellent in combating dark spots, especially when used with an exfoliant. The two work together to eliminate dead skin cells and encourage new cell growth.
Topical Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps repair the skin’s collagen, which can help reduce dark spots. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that make it an all-around beneficial ingredient for the body.
Lightening bleaching creams or gels: Some skin bleaching or fading creams contain hydroquinone. However, these lightning agents may cause more harm than good. For example, they can thin your skin and leave you more susceptible to sun damage, making dark spots even harder to get rid of. Always consult with a dermatologist before trying these products.
Isotretinoin (Accutane): This oral pill is generally considered one of the best ways to get rid of dark spots. It
increases the rate at which your skin gets rid of dead cells and reduces oil production in your pores, helping acne sufferers stay pimple-free.
How to get rid of dark spots on your skin – the natural way
Lemon juice: If you’re looking for a natural method to lighten your dark spots, lemon juice is perfect. Just massage fresh lemon juice into the area with dark spots on your skin. Leave it there for at least 15 minutes, and then wash it off. This can help reduce melanin production, which will fade those unsightly dark patches. Cut a few lemons into small pieces and squeeze the juice out of them. Apply the lemon juice to your skin, leaving it there for 15 minutes before washing it off with water.
Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is excellent for people who suffer from acne because it kills bacteria and reduces oil production on your skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe any redness or irritation you may have. Mix apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water. Use this mixture as a toner to treat your dark spots. You should notice some fading within 4-8 weeks if you do it every day.
Aloe vera gel: Aloe vera gel is known for its moisturizing properties. It’s also packed with antioxidants that help keep your skin healthy and glowing. Get an aloe vera plant or cut open the leaf of a store-bought one, making sure to use only the clear jelly-like sap inside. You can place this sap directly on your skin with dark spots (or on your whole face) and leave it there for about 15 minutes before rinsing off.
If you want to get rid of dark spots on your skin, there are various methods that can help. It all depends on what kind of product or service is most desirable for the individual and their lifestyle. It’s important to find the best fit for you, from fast fixes like topical AHA creams to more permanent treatments like isotretinoin pills. Of course, if none of these options sound good enough then we recommend consulting with a dermatologist about which treatment will work best for you.
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