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Last Updated: Aug 05, 2021
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Black Spots on Skin: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

About Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment Side effects Post-treatment guidelines Cost Cure Results Prevention Home remedies

What are the black spots on the skin?

Black spots are small darkened blemishes formed on the skin. The black spots on your skin are signs of aging and sun exposure. These spots are also caused by high pollution of melanin pigments. The ultraviolet rays of the sun might also cause these black spots on your skin. The black spots can occur on your face, on your hands, shoulders and also on your forearms.

Age is an important factor for the black spots that occur. The skin becomes more prone to these conditions with aging and the melanin pigments of your body do not function properly. However the black spots on your skin or age spots are not harmful to your skin.

Black spots are caused by the overproduction of melanin. However, in young people black spots are because of too much sun exposure. UV rays speed up the production of melanin and the skin turns dark to protect itself from cellular destruction. Sometimes these black spots may be a sign of skin cancer or other abnormalities and can spread over your skin gradually.

What does black spot on body mean?

Black spots refer to hyperpigmentation of the skin which results due to over secretion of the melanin pigment. This is caused by the acne on the skin. Acne when gets cured completely, leaves behind the black spots. These spots are present superficially on the skin and do not tend to cause any kind of long term damage to it. It vanishes spontaneously.

What are the symptoms of black spots on the skin?

The black spots are typically in the ranges of brown. The color of black spots depends upon the skin tone and painless. They generally occur on body parts that are exposed to the sun. Symptoms of black spots are:

  • Oval and flat because of increased pigmentation
  • Tan to dark brown
  • Usually occurs on the region exposed to skin for a period of time like the top of feet, face, hands, shoulders
  • Can form a cluster with time

Are black spots dangerous on the skin?

Black spots are normal in an aged person. Black spots on a young person caused by UV exposure, hyperpigmentation when an area of skin produces more than usual melanin are not a case of concern. They don’t require treatment, however, black spots can be eliminated for the cosmetics. Black spots are a cause of concern when:

  • They are bumpy and grow in months to a year
  • Sore and don’t heal with time
  • Spots are crusty and oozing
  • Skin appears red, flaky, or scaly
  • Skin bleeding, swelling, pain, tender, and scratchy

The symptoms above are of melanoma. Hence, if the spots appear similar to above, it is important to get checked.

What causes black spots on the skin?

Black spots on the skin are caused by various factors. A few of them are:

  • Sun damage: Sunspots, liver spots, solar lentigines develop because of excessive exposure to skin. The most commonplace for the liver sport to occur are the face, hands, shoulder.
  • Medication: Some medications can cause skin pigmentation as a side-effect. The most common are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, psychotropic drugs.
  • Hormonal changes: Melasma, a common hormonal skin condition in women that leads to the formation of discolored patches on the skin.
  • Inflammation: Formation of dark spots after inflammation. It occurs for many reasons like an injury to the skin, eczema, acne, psoriasis.
  • Wound healing after cuts, insect bites. These fade over time.
  • Hypersensitive reaction to cosmetic products.
  • Diabetes: Some regions of skin become dark because of diabetes. The disorders include velvety skin, diabetic dermopathy, acanthosis nigricans.

Do black spots on skin go away?

Dark spots result from acne present on the skin. It is completely curable as present superficially on the skin and does not cause any permanent damage to it. Though various methods including home remedies are there for its treatment, it can go away spontaneously. It is a gradual process but the spots ultimately disappear in a duration of 3 months to 2 years.

How to diagnose black spots on skin?

Dark spots are diagnosed by examining the condition of the skin. If the spots seem severe, the doctor can perform a biopsy to discover the underlying cause of dark spots. A small patch of skin is removed and tested for abnormalities that are causing dark spots.

How to treat black spots on skin?

There are many procedures by which the age spots can be reduced and removed. The most common forms of treatment are:

  • Retinoid solutions:

    These contain retinoic acid and alpha hydroxy acid which promotes healthy skin growth, speeds up exfoliation, and cell multiplication. Retinoid solutions can make skin sensitive to UV radiation and cause dryness.

    Therefore, it is important to wear sunscreen when using the products continuing retinoid solutions. Results will be slow because retinoid solutions take months to be effective.

  • Laser treatment:

    The laser is an invasive treatment for lightening dark spots. In this, a high energy laser is directed at the dark spots which remove skin layer by layer. This solution is faster than the topical solutions but there are some side-effects:

    • Tightness
    • Scaring
    • Bruising
    • Swelling
    • Infection
    • Change in skin texture
  • Bleaching creams:

    It is a popular topical treatment for skin pigment lightening. The quantity of Hydroquinone in over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs is small.

    The concentration of hydroquinone is small because of its toxicity at a large percentage. If there are any side-effects like unusual darkening of the skin, stop using it. It is advisable to not use Hydroquinone products for a prolonged duration.

  • Chemical peels:

    Peels and the exfoliating products remove the dead layer of skin. The skin layer after the removal is healthy and evenly toned. There is however a possibility of skin irritation.

  • Cryosurgery: There is also a system of cryosurgery where liquid nitrogen helps to freeze the specific age spots. It should be noted that no cosmetic can cure age spots, it can only cover these spots for a specific period of time.

Certain ointments are prescribed that help to reduce the inflammated pores of your skin and reduce the chances of developing the black spots on your skin. Sometimes if the condition is not that severe, you can avoid the process of treatment as it might be a mere case of melanin disorder which is pretty common with aging.

Are there any side effects?

The side effects for the treatment are quite low. Common side effects may involve irritation, redness of the skin etc. There are instances where you might not be comfortable with a certain lotion or a cream and you might develop skin allergies from it as well.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

You should avoid direct sun exposure if you notice that the patches are coming back for the same. In that case you should use sunscreen lotions of minimum SPF 30. You should also continue with the medicinal bleachers and ointments. If your black spots are still coming back then consult with your dermatologist.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price of the treatment including therapies and the medications range from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 30,000.

How to tackle and cure black spots on skin?

Black spots with age are unavoidable and common, however, black spots in young people can be tackled with some precautions. Black spots in youngsters are usually caused by excessive sun exposure. Hence, it is crucial to constantly wear sunscreen with an SPF higher than 30 when out in the sun.

If possible, keep your arms and top of the feet covered. Wear sunglasses and a hat for the face. Avoid sun exposure between 10:00 to 16:00, sun rays are usually at the peak between these hours.

Take immediate treatment of the black spots. The treatment could be natural, chemical, or home remedies.

  • Natural treatment includes:
    • Pomegranate extract
    • Licorice extract
    • Vitamin C
    • Beta carotene
    • Azelaic acid

    These are easily available natural components that can help combat black spots.

  • Chemical components include: Over-the-counter medications that contain Retinooid solutions, hydroquinone, alpha-hydroxy, etc. these are also present in prescription drugs. There is a probability of the emergence of side-effects like skin scratching, dryness, irritation, redness, etc. Stop using if you get side-effects from products containing these chemicals.
  • Home remedies: Are a safer but slower solution to black spots. They are simple, easy to use, and minimal chances of side-effects. Home remedies for black spots are made with yogurt, papaya, honey, turmeric, tomato, aloe vera. These products just have to be crushed into a paste and applied as a mask. They will exfoliate the dead and dry layer of skin and promote skin rejuvenation and radiance.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

To obtain the finest results, you need to give it some time. However, with proper therapies and medications the results are permanent unless you are very old and the melanin pigments of your body do not respond to the medications.

How to prevent black spots on skin?

It is hard to prevent dark spots. Like melasma caused by pregnancy hormonal changes is not preventable. But there can be limited, some precautions can be taken to tackle it:

  • Always wear sunscreen of at least 30 SPF.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your skin
  • Treatment of conditions such as ache, eczema that leads to inflammation.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure
  • Avoid peak hours, between 10:00 to 16:00.

Home remedies to treat black spots on skin

The following are the home remedies to treat black spots on skin:

  • Turmeric:

    Turmeric is an antiseptic that is also useful in skincare. Turmeric inhibits the production of melanin which promotes skin hyperpigmentation. Turmeric helps fade the dark spots and rejuvenates the skin.

    Turmeric mask can be made with turmeric powder and honey. Lemon can also be used in place of honey if the skin is not sensitive and there are no open pores on the skin.

  • Papaya:

    Papaya contains alpha-hydroxy acid which is present in skincare products. It is a natural skin exfoliant. Papaya helps in the skin improvement layer by layer. It exfoliates the dead and skin and reveals the healthy skin underneath.

    Papaya also promotes collagen production which improves skin elasticity. To make a papaya mask for the face, simply mash papaya and apply the paste on the skin.

  • Almond oil:

    Almond is useful in both skincare and kitchen. Almond contains niacin and Vitamin E that helps with skin pigmentation and skin rejuvenation.

    Almond strengthens the skin and treats discoloration. Almond oil can be added to regularly used skincare products like moisturizers or make remover to avail of its benefits.

  • Aloe Vera:

    Dark spots caused by scarring are difficult to remove. Aloe vera helps make skin pliable, as this will reduce the risks of pigmentation. Aloe Vera adds moisture to the skin and heals it from the inside.

    Aloe Vera juice can be used, it has various benefits apart from skincare. Aloe Vera gel can be utilized as a moisturizer on the skin. The sticky substance from the Aloe Vera can be extracted at home and applied on skin and scars.

Does apple cider vinegar remove dark spots?

The composition of the apple cider vinegar is acetic acid. It is already proven that acid causes the lightening of the pigmentation. Based on this fact, apple cider vinegar, which is one of the most common home remedies preferred, is an effective treatment for lightening up the pigmentation. It should be used in dilution with water, not concentrated.

Is Vitamin C good for dark spots?

Vitamin C, due to its valuable medicinal properties, has been proved to be one of the most effective home remedies preferred in case of hyperpigmentation. Dark spots which are basically a type of hyperpigmentation, can be treated with the help of vitamin c. It has a role in restricting the production of melanin which eventually leads to fading away of dark spots.

Does Vitamin E get rid of dark spots?

Vitamin E is Known for its role in rejuvenation of the skin, making the skin more healthier and younger. Packed with some useful ingredients such as antioxidants, it enables the skin to fight the free radicals and hence saves it from any kind of damage. Application of vitamin E on the skin enhances the nutrient levels which in turn allow the skin to get rid of the unwanted dark spots.

Can aloe remove dark spots?

Aloe vera is well known for its skin lightening properties due to the presence of chemicals such as aloin and aloesin. It also plays an important role in destroying the overproduced melanin cells and also stopping them from developing further. Therefore, it helps in decreasing the hyperpigmentation. It is one of the most preferred natural methods for treating skin problems.

Popular Questions & Answers

Can I use mela blow rich cream? I am a breastfeeding mother, I have 8 months old baby. Can I use any side effects for baby, my face very dark and dull skin.

MD, MBBS
Dermatologist, Chennai
no...... treatment depends on the grade of pigment skin... for detailed prescription do direct online consultation with photos

Im 24 years old and I have some dry, scaly, itchy patches on some parts of my body. Its been here for a week now and a doctor prescribed fluconazole 200 mg and I also am currently using ketoconazole cream. They said it could be yeast or fungus that I have but I would like an second opinion because I have not got any results yet.

MD - Dermatology, DNB (Dermatology)
Dermatologist, Delhi
Dry scaly itchy patches may be due to fungal infections, sensitive dry skin, seborrheic dermatitis or many other causes. With the treatment advised make sure you consulted a dermatologist for your problem. You can also consult with me online for t...

Hi, I am 19 year old. I had used a product named" lotus herbals skin whitening cream" for a month. After using that cream I knew that my skin discoloured and skin appearing daily since 2020. Facing issues are dull skin, skin appearing black. Can you please prefer a medicine which helps me to overcome this. Is it hyperpigmentation and can I use demelan cream for that.

MD - Dermatology, DNB (Dermatology)
Dermatologist, Delhi
Demelan cream would not be advisable right now as it is very strong and contains hydroquinone. Prolonged usage may lead to side effects of this drug. A good medicated sunscreen suitable for your skin and mild cleaner for your face with direct phto...

Doctor consulted me to use biluma cream for dark spots ,after applying tht cream how many hours I hv to leave tht cream for absorption.

Dermatologist, Kurnool
You can apply at night time and leave it overnight.Biluma cream contains safer lightening agents so not to worry.Always apply sunscreen during morning hours to get full benefits.
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