Dark Blotches on Skin
Dark blotches on the skin are also called hyperpigmentation or liver spots. Patches of skin become darker in color because of skin pigment changes. These spots usually occur on the face, hands or other areas frequently exposed to the sun. They occur more frequently as you age. Although liver spots aren't usually harmful, treatment can minimize the appearance of these dark blotches.
Pigment changes are usually the cause of liver spots. Exposure to ultraviolet light increases the production of melanin. Dark spots become common as you age. It can take years of exposure to ultraviolet rays before dark skin blotches appear. Genetics also play a role in age spot development. If your parents experienced these pigment changes, you're at a higher risk too.
Treat dark blotches on the skin with over-the-counter products containing the ingredients hydroquinone, glycolic acid or kojic acid, recommends MayoClinic.com. You need to use products for several weeks before noticing results. Some of these products cause skin irritation. If you experience irritation, discontinue use of the product, and consult your dermatologist.
Dark spots that don't respond to over-the-counter treatment may benefit from a prescription treatment. Prescription strength topical creams, such as hydroquinone or retinoid creams, can fade liver spots over several weeks. Topical creams increase sun sensitivity, so apply sunscreen when using these products.
Your dermatologist also offers in-office procedures to fade dark blotches on the skin, including laser therapy, dermabrasion and chemical peels. Insurance companies usually will not cover these procedures. Consult your doctor about procedure prices.
Prevent pigment changes by avoiding the sun during the hours when its most intense, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you spend time outdoors, wear a sunscreen containing an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before going outdoors. This allows the sunscreen to effectively absorb into the skin, resulting in better protection. Protective clothing, such as long pants and hats, also protects your skin from harmful rays.
Consult a dermatologist about skin pigmentation changes. She can offer additional treatment methods and rule out other causes. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays increases your risk of skin cancer. A dermatologist can examine your skin and ensure that you don't have any other factors causing pigment changes.
Overview When skin cells become damaged, they can affect the melanin in the skin that's responsible ...
Overview The pigment melanin determines the color of your skin, hair and eyes. White blotches on the...
Overview Red, patchy rashes are a common complaint and can be caused by a variety of issues. The ski...
Overview Dark blotches on the skin are also called hyperpigmentation or liver spots. Patches of skin...
Overview Age spots, liver spots and sun spots are terms that are all used to describe one thing: dar...
Overview Red skin blotches can be caused by allergic reactions to your new make-up or a common condi...