What's Behind Those Dark Spots on Your Skin?

Any changes to your skin can seem like a cause for concern. After all, conditions like skin cancer are diagnosed in nearly 10,000 people daily. But not all skin conditions are symptomatic of dangerous illnesses. 

If you see dark spots on your skin, there can be multiple causes, and many are only temporary. Before you get anxious or concerned by dark spots, it’s important to get the facts to better understand how or whether they need to be treated.

Residents of Tucson or Yuma, Arizona, dealing with dark spots or other skin conditions can rely on our experienced staff at Peach Skin and Laser. We use the latest technology of intense pulsed light (IPL) and photofacial treatments to help you with a variety of skin issues to help you look your best.

What are dark spots?

Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of patches of skin as a result of excess melanin (the pigment that produces skin and hair color) that forms deposits in the skin. 

The result is commonly referred to as age spots, liver spots, sunspots, or dark spots. They are usually found on your face, shoulders, back, or the back of your hands. These painless spots range from light to dark brown, are quite common regardless of skin color, and are often harmless. 

How do you get them?

The causes of dark spots vary, and in some cases, these spots can fade over time. Dark spots can be caused by the following:

Sun damage

These are commonly called liver spots or sunspots, and they are commonly seen after high exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Tanning beds can produce the same effect.

Hormone changes

Melasma is a type of dark spot that both women and men can get, but it is more common in women during pregnancy (which is called chloasma). It may also be caused by sunlight, but birth control pills and hormone treatments can trigger it in women.

Medications

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), tetracyclines, and psychotropic drugs are common medications that can lead to an increase in pigmentation and cause dark spots.

Inflammation

Eczema, psoriasis, acne, and skin injuries can cause skin irritation that can lead to dark spots.

Diabetes

Diabetes can affect many different areas of the body, including the skin. The high blood sugar from this illness can damage blood vessels, making them appear as brown spots on your shins. 

Diabetes can also cause acanthosis nigricans, a condition that is connected to insulin resistance and hormonal changes. It looks very similar to age spots.

Healing from wounds

When insect bites, cuts, and burns heal, the process can leave behind patches of dark spots on your skin.

How can they be treated?

Dark spots are annoying for many, but generally not harmful. You should still get any dark spots checked out if you are concerned. 

Dark spots can make you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious, and if that’s the case, we’re ready to help. Our Lumenis® M22 laser makes dark spots fade away in as few as three appointments.

If you’re eager to see the dark spots disappear, make an appointment with Peach Skin and Laser today.

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