Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

How to Eliminate Dark Spots on the Skin

How to Eliminate Dark Spots on the Skin How to Eliminate Dark Spots on the Skin

Overview

Dark spots on your skin, also called hyperpigmentation, can have a variety of causes. The skin-care website Derma Network reports that acne commonly leaves dark spots. Medications such as estrogen and tetracycline can sensitize the skin to the sun or cause dark spots all by themselves. Over-the-counter treatments can fade the spots over time. But eventually you may need a doctor's help.

Step 1

Apply an over-the-counter skin-lightening medication. The Cleveland Clinic says that hydroquinone can lighten spots caused by acne, wounds and aging. Alpha hydroxy acid can also lighten age spots. Start with a concentration no higher than 15 percent. Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, has the ability to access the lower layers of skin and improve pigmentation. These medications are available over the counter in gels, lotions and soaps.

Step 2

Use an over-the-counter chemical peel. Dr. Audrey Kunin, founder of the Derma Doctor website, says chemical peels are among the most popular cosmetic procedures today. They’re used to reduce mild scarring and improve discoloration. Look for a product with glycolic acid or salicylic acid.

Step 3

Talk to a dermatologist. If you have not seen an improvement after using over-the-counter treatments for six to eight weeks, consider using a topical prescription medication. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that a prescription medication that contains a few active ingredients, unlike over-the-counter medications that contain only one ingredient, may show better results. Your doctor may suggest a topical medication that contains prescription-strength hydroquinone, a corticosteroid and tretinoin. This combination can lighten skin without causing irritation, according to the Academy of Dermatology.

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