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How to Remove Dark Spots from Your Face

Here Are Some Tips to Help You Out!

Learning how to deal with hyperpigmentation takes time, and cannot be fixed immediately. The best method employs a combination of in-office treatments combined with an at-home skincare routine that includes products such as gentle cleansers and glycolic acid, as well as sunscreen, which is essential for protecting your skin from the sun every day.

People of any skin tone can get hyperpigmentation, though those with darker skin have a higher chance. The best way to prevent it is by using sunscreen and being consistent with treatments.

In general, the treatments for hyperpigmentation are quite similar, regardless of which type of discoloration a patient has), though we will touch on some key differences later. For context, photoaging—skin damage caused by sun exposure—can often be seen in the form of solar lentigines (more commonly known as age spots or liver spots).

Melanin is produced naturally by our skin in order to protect the upper layer from ultraviolet rays. However, this overabundance in melanin can cause patches of darkness and unevenness across the skin surface.

Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation is another variety that includes red or brown spots left over after an acne breakout or inflammation has been healed. The more inflamed the breakout (for example, cystic acne, pustules, or red bumps), the darker the spot becomes.

The longer it takes a spot to heal, the darker it typically becomes. In some cases, this can result in melasma: symmetrical blotches of hyperpigmentation on the face that usually appear on the cheeks, nose bridge, forehead, chin, and upper lip.

According to expert sources, melasma is particularly difficult to correct because it often affects deep dermal layers. Though both men and women can suffer from melasma, the condition seems to target women predominantly due to varying levels of estrogen and progesterone.

Other triggers for the skin condition include UV exposure, genetic disposition, pregnancy, oral contraceptives, endocrine disorders, and certain types of hormone therapy treatments.

A Daily Routine to Do at Home

If you want to maintain clear skin, hyperpigmentation prevention should be top-of-mind every day.

Reapply sunscreen

if you keep getting exposed to UV rays, you won’t be able to improve your skin’s health. Wearing sunscreen every day is the best way to prevent hyperpigmentation and prolong the benefits of treatments done in-office.

Use Active Ingredients

In addition to treatments performed in a doctor’s office or prescribed by a physician, topical skin care can also be helpful in treating hyperpigmentation.

By priming the skin, certain ingredients can optimize the benefits of these other treatments. Retinoic acid, arbutin, kojic acid, niacinamide, and azelaic acid are some examples of effective ingredients.

Use Face Scrubs

Microtears on your skin can be caused by scrubbing your face with something that has abrasive, uneven edges. People with darker complexions are especially susceptible to hyperpigmentation from physical exfoliants that cause trauma and inflammation. That’s why we prefer chemical exfoliation instead.

This is our favorite exfoliation! It’s effective and well-tolerated when used correctly, which gives my patients brighter, more even skin over time. If you stick with a consistent routine of clinical and prescription active ingredients as well as in-office treatments, you can realistically expect to see an improvement in your hyperpigmentation within six months.


Since environmental pollution can worsen melasma, you should cleanse your skin nightly to prevent it from being stripped. We suggest using a gentle daily cleanser like this replenishing cleanser made with desert botanicals like nopal cactus, prickly pear, and aloe vera. This blend will deeply cleanse and balance your skin.

More Treatments Options

Methods to stop or prevent hyperpigmentation are similar regardless of the kind. This includes breaking down pigment that has already been deposited, increasing turnover through exfoliation, and reducing inflammation.

There are a few differences in some cases, though, such as cryotherapy being frozen, which can help remove solar lentigines or age and liver spots caused by sun damage.

Lower-energy fractionated lasers are best for treating melasma, repairing sun damage, and improving skin texture overall. However, with the latter goal in mind, you need to get treatments every month for at least three months straight.

Some in-office dark-spot treatments work better for certain skin tones than others. If you have lighter skin, “intense pulsed light” will probably be the best option. This method is ideal when there is a big contrast between the base skin color and the blemish (for example, dark spots on fair skin).

In patients with darker complexions, however, the surrounding area often absorbs some of the light, which can cause injury and eventually result in postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Avoid using hydroquinone, a prescription drug that lightens dark spots. It can cause irritation, sun sensitivity, and, in some cases, hyperpigmentation on the surface of the skin. The real risk is its potential toxicity.

Although researchers have not found any correlation between topical use in humans and cancer, rodents that were orally exposed to hydroquinone showed carcinogenic activity. (It’s banned in the EU, Japan, and Australia.)

If you want to treat hyperpigmentation, we recommend that you do your research on the provider’s experience level. When speaking with your doctor, be as specific as possible.

For example, you might inquire if the physician has ample experience treating patients who have similar skin tones to yours. Additionally, it is important to ask about preventive measures that will be taken in order to avoid any complications.

It’s vital to reduce redness and inflammation whenever a laser is used on darker skin tones—any form of irritation can cause hyperpigmentation and dark spots.

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