How to Treat Dark Spots
Melasma is a skin condition in which dark patches appear on your skin. The dark spots can appear on any skin that is exposed to the sun, but they are most common on the face, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Why the spots develop is not understood, but it is believed to be affected by the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. Women are far more likely than men to develop melasma, and it's more common in women who are pregnant or taking birth control pills. If you notice these dark spots, treatments are available. In some cases, though, the spots will fade on their own.
Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist who can evaluate your skin and examine the dark spots. A dermatologist can typically diagnose melasma simply by taking a look at the skin discoloration, according to MedlinePlus.
Ask your doctor about topical medications that can be used to lighten the appearance of the dark spots. Creams containing hydroquinone can be applied to the affected skin to treat melasma, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Use the hydroquinone cream as directed by your doctor. It should always be applied to clean, dry skin. Also, it can take weeks for the cream to have noticeable effects.
Wear sunscreen on all exposed skin whenever you are outdoors, the American Academy of Dermatology advises. Sun exposure plays a role in the development of dark spots. Even on cloudy days or when you will spend most of your time inside, you need to apply sunscreen to your exposed skin.
Visit with your dermatologist again if you do not notice any improvement in the appearance of the dark spots after several weeks of using hydroquinone cream. Your doctor may advise you to undergo another type of treatment, such as a chemical peel or laser therapy, to treat the condition. However, these procedures should always be performed by a knowledgeable dermatologist.
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