How to treat dark spots on skinCredit: Photo by Jane Gates
People communicate by looking each other in the face and many of us draw our first impressions from how another face looks. It's no wonder that we like to put our "best face forward". And that's why it is important to keep your skin looking good. Additionally, our skin says something about our state of health and can even affect our health.
Since some types of skin are prone to developing dark spots, these discolorations can mar our appearance. Dark spots frequently come with aging as sun damages the cells over time. These "age spots" are not limited to the advanced years, though. Hormonal issues, harsh chemicals, overexposure to sun, liver imbalances, and other health problems can also cause brown pigmented spots or patches on skin, particularly on the face. The discolorations are sometimes called sun spots or liver spots.
Tyrosinase is a copper containing enzyme that causes these dark spots. All the publicity about limiting your exposure to hot sunshine and wearing ultraviolet protection sunscreens is more than just hype to sell sun lotion. Even wearing a wide brimmed hat to keep your face shaded will help cut down on damage. If you work outdoors or do a lot of gardening and landscaping like I do, sunscreens and hats are a must.
Another way to combat developing these spots on your face or other parts of the body is to keep healthy. Simply eating good, healthy foods and getting exercise may not be enough to discoloration from appearing. But a body in top condition can minimize the effects of brown spots by keeping organs in top functioning condition and reducing the damage of increased free radicals as we age.
Once dark spots have appeared on skin there are things you can do to remove or reduce them. Some people have had a lot of success using topical vitamin C. It is certainly worth trying first since it offers a safe and inexpensive treatment. Other ways to combat sun damage are to use products with hydroquinone. You can buy this tyrosinase inhibitor over the counter at 2%. For higher percentages you will need a prescription.
The surface of skin can be removed with treatments of glycolic acid which will reduce the intensity of dark spots on skin. Spa treatments are the most pleasant ways to have glycolic treatments, but you can also buy products over the counter or by perscription for a do-it-yourself treatment.
Severe discoloration is best treated professionally with lasers or with other dermatologist expertise. It is always a good idea to check first with your doctor before starting any regimen that will affect your body. Every body can react differently to treatments.
You might find a combination of treatments works best for you. But whether you are seeing your first signs of dark spots on your skin or you are dealing with a fully developed issue, continue to treat you skin with kindness and respect. Wear sunscreens and a hat outside, eat wisely, and exercise regularly. Good health is more than just good looks: your body is where you will be living all your life. Care for it well!