Whatever your natural skin color happens to be, it will include a pigment known as melanin. The amount and type of melanin a person has will dictate the tone of their skin, as well as their hair and eye color. Melanin is released to protect our skin from the sun, but when we forget the SPF cream or spend too much time tanning, excess melanin can begin to collect in deposits. These areas are darker than the skin around them and are sometimes known as hyperpigmentation. Melanin can also be released as a result of hormonal changes or after skin damage, and anyone can be affected. There are three key causes of dark spots, all of which can be managed with a good dark spot cream.
Over-exposure to UV
The primary cause of dark spots on the skin is exposure to the sun and the damage it causes. Sunburn is a painful experience, but you don’t have to burn to suffer from dark spots further down the line. This is because UV rays cause the melanocytes in our skin to react, even in small doses. Once activated, melanocytes get to work releasing melanin, our body’s natural form of sun protection. Melanin helps to process UV rays by taking in some of the energy they project and spreading it around the top layer of skin. Too much sun can cause the body to overproduce melanin, and this is what causes dark patches to form.
The most commonly affected areas are those which receive the highest doses of UV. This is usually the face and hands, as well as the chest and shoulders. Although if you enjoy walking barefoot on the beach, dark patches could also appear on your feet. The problem does build up as we age and are exposed to the sun over years and years. Older skin is also thinner, meaning dark areas are emphasized. Wearing a hat and sunblock can minimize sun damage, as can staying in the shade during the middle of the day when UV rays are strongest.
At various stages of life, our hormone levels change. This can be due to puberty, pregnancy, menstruation or menopause. Whatever the reason, shifting hormones work to stimulate the release of melanin. Sizable patches of hyperpigmentation on the face and stomach are often a result of melasma. This a common condition during pregnancy, but men can also be affected if their hormone levels move up and down. Dark spots on the face can be distressing, but it’s worth remembering that as your hormonal changes balance out, the problem will begin to disappear. In the meantime, gentle dark spot creams can help to reduce the appearance of melasma. You can also prevent further discoloration by staying out of direct sunlight and using a moisturizer which contains a sunblock.
Damage and inflammation
Skin which has been injured as a result of acne, allergic reactions and other complaints, can be prone to dark spots. This type of hyperpigmentation is often referred to as ‘post-inflammatory’ because it happens as the skin begins to recover. Skin that has suffered from damage often becomes red and inflamed. To heal it, the body produces melanin, and this process can quickly create darker patches. People who have acne often find that after a breakout, red, purple or brown darker spots are left behind. Skin that has become extremely inflamed will usually end up with more prominent dark spots.
If you are affected, tailor your daily skincare routine to reduce blemishes and calm the complexion. Also, try to avoid picking or scratching the skin during a breakout, as this can make the problem worse.
Finding the ideal dark skin cream
Self-diagnosing a skin problem can be a challenge, but at Relief Seeker, you can browse through information on the causes and treatments of dark spots, as well as finding an effective cream. Search for the best dark spot correctors based on the ingredients they contain, the area of the body they can be used on and how they work.
It’s best to get started early when it comes to managing dark spots. Creams with glycolic acid or salicylic acid, can certainly help boost the skin’s natural renewal process. To nurture a brighter looking complexion, choose creams with ingredients such as phytic acid, kojic acid and vitamin C. Finally, a dark spot cream should contain moisturizing elements. Properly hydrated and well-nourished skin is better able to tackle dark spots and also prevent new ones from forming.