What Are Dark Skin Blotches on the Face?
Dark skin occurs when your body experiences an increase in the production of melanin, the pigment that colors your skin. This darkening can occur on any part of your body, including your face, and in any size. Many causes are behind these blotches, leading people to try several treatment methods before a response is noted. Understanding the cause of your dark spots can help you and your physician reach a method of treatment sooner.
Benign Causes of Dark Skin Blotches
Your dark splotches might be melasma, a common skin disorder that usually occurs after pregnancy, hormonal changes or sun exposure. It can also appear suddenly without these occurrences. However, melasma usually fades somewhat or completely after a few months, according to the website Homeopathy for Everyone. Sun damage can also cause your dark splotches. These are called age spots, liver spots or solar lentigines, and are typically noncancerous. However, they do remain for long periods. Other causes may be acne scars, marks from injury or surgery, or genes. The latter is the cause for freckles, according to MedlinePlus.
Serious Causes of Dark Skin Blotches
Dark blotches can also be caused by Addison's disease, which is a condition in which the adrenal glands are damaged and cannot produce the needed amounts of certain hormones. Other serious causes include Cushing's disease, another adrenal gland disorder. Speak with your physician to determine the cause of your dark spots and a treatment method that is right for you.
Treatment for Dark Blotches
Treatments for dark blotches typically include a topical ointment. These should contain a melanin-inhibiting ingredient, such as tretinoin and hydroquinone, says the Health Central site. These work by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase, which triggers the production of melanin. These ingredients stop the enzyme before it can trigger the increase, says the site. You can find tretinoin in prescriptions such as Renova, Avita and Retin-A, and hydroquinone in topical non-prescription commercial products. Use these together for fading your dark spots. Also, use sunscreen every day and limit your sun exposure, according to Dailyglow.com.
Procedures for Dark Blotches
Some procedures can fade your dark spots. These treatments are generally recommended by a physician in severe cases of dark spots. Such procedures include laser treatments or chemical peels that will strip away the uppermost layer of skin, the darkened layer, to reveal a new layer. However, depending on the underlying cause of your dark blotches, your physician might recommend a different treatment method.
Topical ointments can cause skin irritation or even an allergic reaction. Symptoms of such irritation or include but are not limited to itching and redness. Symptoms of allergic reactions can range from mild, such as nausea, diarrhea, swelling of the face, itchiness, redness and hives, to severe, such as anaphylactic shock. If you suspect irritation or an allergic reaction, discontinue use and consult your doctor.
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