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Asian woman inspecting her skin for dark spots and blemishes

Understanding Dark Spots on the Skin

Dark spots on the skin are also known as hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the body produces too much melanin. This can be caused by several different factors. Here are some common causes of dark spots on the skin.

Sun Exposure
The rays from the sun, also known as UV rays, can increase the stimulation of the production of melanin. Excess melanin causes the formation of dark spots. Sun exposure is likely the most common cause of dark spots on the skin. If dark spots don’t fade with treatment or become darker, it is important to consult a physician to make sure you aren’t dealing with something more serious.

Acne Scars
Acne causes damage to the skin. Picking at or popping acne causes even more damage to the skin. After damage occurs, the body can produce more melanin and dark spots can appear.

Hormonal Changes
When the body experiences hormonal fluctuations such as those associated with pregnancy, perimenopause, or birth control pills, dark spots can form on the skin.

Inflammation or Injury
Cuts, burns, inflammation, or anything that causes injury to the skin can trigger the body to increase the production of melanin and this can cause dark spots.

Simply put, some people have a genetic inclination toward dark spots on the skin and others don’t. If your mother had dark spots on the skin, it is likely that you will develop the same issues.

Skin Conditions
Certain skin conditions, such as melasma, psoriasis, lentigines, or keratosis, can contribute to the formation of dark spots. Some of these skin conditions can be treated with oral medications and some cannot. Ask your dermatologist for assistance if you notice these spots getting worse.

How to Get Rid of the Dark Spots that Already Exist

Protecting your skin from the sun is a great way to avoid getting dark spots. But it won’t get rid of the dark spots you already have. Here are some great ways to eliminate those dark spots while preventing future dark spots from coming to the surface.

Topical Treatments

Kojic Acid
Kojic acid can be a wonderful treatment for getting rid of dark spots. However, it can be quite painful to sensitive skin.

The retinoids we use today are not your mama’s retinoids. These advanced creams are derivatives of vitamin A and there are many varying strengths. If your dark spots are severe, you may want to try a professional grade retinoid.

Vitamin C
The active ingredient in vitamin C helps to inhibit the production of melanin. This is effective in reducing the appearance of dark spots and it also helps to prevent further dark spots in the future.

This is a corrective topical treatment that can be used to significantly reduce dark spots and Melasma. This enzymatic topical treatment can be prescribed by a plastic surgeon or your provider.  This cream can be applied to any type, texture, or skin tone and is very effective in eliminating dark spots and Melasma. The use of hydroquinone will need to be repeated until the desired results are achieved.

Cosmetic Procedures

Chemical Peels
These peels don’t just help remove fine lines and wrinkles. By being worn as a mask, chemical peels can help eliminate dark spots.

Through a series of small needles that emit radio waves, microneedling provides a wonderful result when creating smooth, blemish-free skin tone and is very effective at removing dark spots.

Laser Treatment
Through laser treatments, dark spots absorb light and will fade over time. Some laser treatments will cause dark spots to darken before the fade, so don’t lose heart. A few weeks after treatment you will see a noticeable difference.

Microderm Abrasion
A technique that is similar to sandpapering the skin gently, microderm abrasion has been proven to remove dark spots in cases that aren’t very severe. This is not a treatment that is appropriate for serious cases of excessive skin pigmentation.

Home Remedies

There are many home remedies that are rumored to be effective in the fading of dark spots. However, there is little evidence to prove that they actually work. Before administering any home treatments to the skin, make sure to consult your dermatologist or aesthetician. Make sure that you never apply mercury or bleach to the skin. Believe it or not, some products contain these substances, and they are very dangerous to use topically.
A few of the home remedies that may help with dark spot removal include:

  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Green Tea
  • Lemon Juice
  • Aloe


Whether you go with topical treatments in a clinic, medical cosmetic procedures, or home remedies, it’s important to treat your skin with care and respect. No matter what, always consult a professional before moving forward with a treatment protocol.
Dark spots can be damaging to the self-esteem, but they can also mean a sign of something much worse, like precancer or cancer. When in doubt, consult your physician.

EpiCentre Skin Care

At EpiCentre Skin Care, we have been committed to helping our patients look their best since 2008. In the Dallas area, we are the number one source for skin care. Whether you’d like to take advantage of our profession skin care treatments, since as chemical peels or dermaplaning, or if you’d like recommendations on your at-home skin care routine, we are happy to help. We take pride in our patients, and we want to assist you as you achieve your skin goals to have beautiful skin. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, visit our website, or call us today at (214) 887-1577.