How to Get Rid of Dark Spots on Face ?- Cause, Diagnosis, Remedies

Dark spots have been the worst nightmare of all people worldwide. It is the main reason to get you directly to the dermatologist and can cause you multiple infection issues.

These spots are areas of your facial skin where the color has changed compared to the rest of your face. The loss of normal pigmentation is mostly an effect of the sun and the neglect of sunscreen use with the right SPF.

Most of the time, it is a melanin-induced issue that causes hyperpigmentation to certain parts of the skin. It is not the typical kind of emergency and can receive treatment even when you are living with it for a long time. 

Almost 70% of older Caucasian women do suffer from dark spots especially on the facial and arms skin. It is a common situation among people over 65 years of age that have finally found the right treatment.

What are the dark spots of facial skin disease?

It is a standard procedure that sensitive skin reacts to sun exposure and chemicals. We are talking about specific hyperpigmentation of a facial spot, which turns on being darker than the surrounding skin. These spots may range from dark to light brown and have several hair bulbs inside. 

dark spots mechanism illustration

You may find dark spots developed in the following areas:

  • Facial skin
  • The rear part of your hands and arms
  • Shoulders
  • Abdominal and spinal cord areas

The hyperpigmentation depends on the particular color of your skin. People with darker skin tones would have six or seven colors of darker spots, which can fade away with time. Sun and acid reactions on your dark skin tones, combined with low serum vitamin levels could flair up the appearance of fade dark spots.

Symptoms of dark spots

We all know that you want the best care for your face. However, melanin that is the basic substance giving your skin brightness and color can exceed the necessary quantity.

Physical symptoms 

They include skin irritation and gradual appearance of several dark spots on your face. They could start to appear close to your chin and cheeks. Later on, they expand to your eyes surrounding area and nose, where they significantly impact your natural look.

Mental symptoms 

Mental symptoms of the dark facial spots include depression and lack of interest in your external appearance. People who suffer from facial hyperpigmentation due to dark spots usually withdraw from common activities. 

Chances are you may develop dark spots if you are Caucasian, living close to the Equator, where sunshine keeps on for the whole year. However, their appearance on younger people makes dermatologists assume that pollution and acne medication may worsen the situation.

Dark spots: Causes and Risk Factors

As we already stated, dark spots are derivatives of hyperpigmentation due to excessive melanin production. Free radicals and air pollution can significantly increase the possibilities to develop dark spots. 

Let’s take a thorough look at the physical causes of dark spots:


Hyperpigmentation of the face skin can occur after the existence of inflammatory damages. People who suffer from acne, lesions, eczema, psoriasis, or other facial skin injuries may develop dark spots.

Process of wound healing

It is well-known that your face produces more melanin to a spot that received an external injury factor. It could be a burn or an insect bite, but it rapidly disappears after a few days.


It has been the most common cause of dark spots during pregnancy. The overproduction of birth hormones could cause melanin to reach record highs, but it eases upon delivery.


Hormonal changes due to menopause or polycystic ovaries could cause a dark spot appears on your face.

Linea Nigra (Black Line)

It has been a common issue for a minor part of pregnant women. We are talking about the dark vertical line that appears on the abdominal skin of these women, due to hormone overproduction. Melanin thrives for one more time and creates another dark spot place.

Riehl’s Melanosis

It has been inflammatory dermatitis caused by excessive sun exposure without using a good sunscreen.


People who suffer from blood sugar discrepancies could develop dark spots on their face.

Besides all these medical conditions, some medications induce dark spot creation: 


It is a common type of antibiotic for a wide range of microbes. Minocycline and Doxycycline have a registered side effect of hyperpigmentation on your facial skin.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Ibuprofen, which has been the most widely used pill for migraines and menstrual period abdominal pain, is an NSAID drug causing dark spots damage as a side effect.


Older people usually take this pill to regulate their heart function, dealing with their arrhythmias. Dark spot creation is among its common side effects.


Like Estrace and Vagifem can significantly induce hyperpigmentation to your facial cells. The ups and downs of hormone levels, could flair up the symptoms.


The commonly used substances in treating dark spots can be another reason for face skin damage and dark spot creation.

Sun exposure

Another great physical cause of dark spots has traditionally been sun exposure. The UV radiation that comes from the sun or another artificial source like the tanning devices, can cause serious hyperpigmentation and fade your natural skin color. People that refuse to use sunscreen are in great danger for dark spots. 

infographic of dark spots

Especially, those who have thinner and pale skin can significantly increase the risk of skin discoloration. Not to mention, that all persons who deny using sunscreen are also in the first line of dark spots candidates.

In addition to these risk factors for the appearance of dark spots, some mental health issues aggravate the situation. Anxiety and stressful syndromes increase the secretion of adrenaline to your bloodstream. Your skin cells are producing more melanin as a response to the adrenal overactivity. You end up getting a dark spot close to your facial area.

Depression that is caused by Addison’s disease is also a common cause of hyperpigmentation to people that receive no treatment. It is natural to see persons find their best treatment and reduce facial damage when switching to the right antidepressants.

Diagnosis of Dark Spots on Face.

At first, you need to have in mind that dark spots appear gradually. We are not talking about a medical emergency, so you don’t need to rush to the hospital or seek specialized care.

The right person to give you a diagnosis about this condition would be the dermatologist or the plastic surgeon. Both of them are having to do with skin conditions and can apply surgical and conventional methods to remove skin spots and help to the brightening of your face.

Most of the time, experts need a simple device called dermatoscope, which consists of a powerful magnifying lens with LED illuminating lights.

Modern clinics use digital dermatoscopes that can track the surface of your skin and compare it to the normal one. 

Your doctor is the sole responsible person to give the right treatment that would help you treat dark spots, having an effective action on your mood as well.

Be aware that doctors could remove tiny parts of your skin to take biopsies. It happens to exclude possible skin malignancies that pretend to be dark spots and accumulate melanin molecules to the suspicious part of your face.

Taking the medical history of a patient remains an important step of the right diagnosis. Many underlying illnesses can induce acid reactions and imbalances to the blood serum vitamin levels. The right diagnosis would reduce the damage and reveal the best treatments with products and natural ingredients to help your facial brightening.

How to get rid of Dark Spots on Face?

Today scientists have developed many pharmaceutical remedies and products to get rid of the dark spots from your face and restore your natural beauty. Most of the treatments are topical. Doctors never propose a systematic treatment since it has more side effects than benefits.

Topical treatments

Many prescription bleaching creams that contain hydroquinone and lemon acid can be beneficial to make dark spots disappear. The main action of hydroquinone cream is the inhibition of melanin creation to the spots you apply it on. 

However, you should use it for a short-term period, as it belongs to the remedies with questionable safety for your body.

People that suffer from any type of acne should be careful with the use of hydroquinone that may be responsible for skin cancers close to the treated spots.

Another kind of creams that contains lemon extract, vitamin serum and bleaching chemical from fruit juice would be also beneficial for dark spots treatment. Retinoids, glycolic acids, alpha-hydroxy acids, and deoxyarbutin are among the ingredients that will help you reduce hyperpigmentation and retain more water on your skin.

A major thing to remember with these creams is to apply sunscreen with the right SPF should you need to go out in the sunshine. These products contain abrasive agents and give chemical reactions that make your skin vulnerable to UV radiation.

Aesthetic Procedures

These are minimally invasive procedures, used to remove dark spots from any part of your face or body. They can restore your natural appearance and help you get rid of any further damage.

Laser treatments

Using the laser emission light, doctors can remove the superficial parts of your skin and activate the healing mechanisms of your body. The dark spots can instantly fade away, while side effects and risks remain limited to redness and changes in the skin texture.

Keep in mind that only specialized medical personnel can perform laser treatment, as it would be dangerous to try it alone at home. Lasers come into IPL and Alexandrite diamond categories, each one having its own benefits and drawbacks.

Alexandrite laser treatments are generally more efficient and can reduce hyperpigmentation and remove melanin a lot faster than others.

Chemical Peels

Dermatologists use certain chemical peels containing salicylic acids and glycolic acids in the right proportion. They resemble the ones used for acne treatment having serum vitamins and lemon acids, which act as focal bleaching agents.

Every chemical peel session removes and destroys the superficial part of the epidermis, showing some magnificent exfoliating results. Doctors prefer to perform these treatments during wintertime when the sunshine is limited. 

Redness and bruising as well as swollen parts of your face may appear as local side effects. Although they may seem serious they are self-diminishing and would easily remove dark spots from your face. 

The use of sunscreen with a big SPF index is also necessary should you choose this kind of treatment. There is no point in receiving sunshine right after the peels session since UV radiation could easily penetrate to the deeper parts of your skin and cause severe damage.


It is a new method that uses microcrystals to remove the superficial cells and restore beauty on your face. You can see the dark spots disappear after a few sessions. Not to mention that this technique is low-risk and only some slight redness appears as a side effect. 

Every mainstream dermatologist has at least one microdermabrasion machine in his office. Sessions don’t take more than a quarter of an hour, and you feel a lot relieved when your facial skin takes its initial shape and color.

Usually, serum vitamins can join the treatment in forms of mesotherapy, which has been the number one aesthetic procedure worldwide.


Experts apply liquid nitrogen through a special safety device directly on the dark spots of your face. This technique makes the dark spots to freeze instantly, while you may peel the darkened skin away from your face. 

It has been a radical procedure that has no risk in further damaging your healthy facial skin. However, there is always a chance to whiten the treated areas from the use of nitrogen, but this shows a low incidence.

Cryotherapy is easy to perform at the dermatologist office, and there is no need for hospital treatment.

You can get your dark spots removed easily at the lowest possible cost.

Face masks for dark spots

There is a bunch of face masks that you can fix alone at home and give you the best results in getting rid of your dark facial spots. Let’s mention some of them over here:

  • Milk and honey face mask: You only need one tablespoon of milk and honey respectively. Mix the fresh ingredients together and apply the paste on the dark spots. Milk can offer you its bleaching effect that is due to its white color, while honey can further moisturize the area. Keep on applying the mask before you go to sleep and eventually you will wake up without any sign of dark spots on your face.
  • Aloe vera and rose water mask: Take a leaf of aloe vera and extract the gel from it. Then mix it with a small portion of rose water to get a rich texture. You are ready to apply it on your dark spots. The aloe vera extract contains aloesin that stops the secretion of melanin to the superficial skin cells. You will be amazed to see your dark spots fade away after a few week of regular use.

Facial masks are a great alternative to other registered therapies and are 100% natural. They have equal action on your facial dark spots and can be as effective as medication.

Home Remedies for Dark Spots

Multiple remedies are available for the treatment of dark spots on your face. Some of them are not accredited by the Doctors’ community, and you should always ask your physician before trying them on. 

Lemon juice extract

Lemon slices that you could place on top of your dark spots may remove them after several sessions. The natural acids of the lemon juice can work in an effective way, restoring the initial color of your skin. 

You don’t have to overdo it with lemons since they can drain all the moisture from your superficial skin. However, it would be an easy and budget-friendly solution that worths your efforts.

Aloe Vera Gel

We all know that aloe vera is good for all skin rashes. Lately, a recent study about aloe vera application to the belly skin of pregnant women has shown that melasma has significantly decreased in shape and colors.

You can find multiple aloe vera products on the market. Make sure you are always getting the ones that have the best concentration and come from reliable sources.

Grape Seed extract

It is a rather new approach in dealing with dark spots. It seems like grape seeds have some mild bleaching agents that can give your facial skin the initial color and restore the melanin production to the normal levels.

You may also choose to take grape seed extract orally and still have some dramatic results on your dark spots. Ensure that you have no known allergies to grape seeds and you are free to try this home remedy.

Turmeric acts radically to remove dark spots

This Asian spice has been used for centuries in beauty treatments. Its active substance is curcumin, the well-known spice with the deep orange color that has taken the market by storm. Lately, we have seen many facial masks including turmeric to become popular home remedies against dark facial spots.

Turmeric with honey is giving your face a great texture and can prevent acne signs. Your skin gets hydrates since turmeric retains water and humidity from the air. One tablespoon of honey mixed with a pinch of turmeric would be the perfect portion to apply it on your dark spots. You should leave it there for 20 minutes and then wash it off using warm water. After a few treatment cycles you will gradually see a difference to your dark spots, that are going to gradually fade away.

Turmeric and lemon juice has been another variation that has a tremendous bleaching power over your facial dark spots. Use the juice of a well-squeezed lemon mixed with a pinch of turmeric and fix a paste to apply on your dark spots. The exfoliating power of lemon juice is going to remove dead skin cells from your dark spots area. If you repeat the mask treatment at least twice a week you may see dramatic results concerning your dark spots.

How to prevent the creation of dark spots on your face?

Let’s be realistic. Dark spots come with age, and there is nothing to do to prevent their expansion as soon as they have already appeared on your skin. Despite all these pessimistic thoughts, there are always behaviors you could adopt from early stages to reduce the risk of dark spots development.

Cover yourself when walking outdoors

Especially when you live in a sunny place, you need to use hats, long sleeves, and pants. Some of them have an SPF index to offer you more protection against the UV radiation of the sunlight. It has been the first measure that costs you virtually nothing and can relent the appearance of the first dark spots on you.

Always use sunscreen cream with the right SPF index

We know you have heard about the ozone layer hole when you were young, caused by the use of CFCs to the sprays. It would be wise to use sunblock anywhere and renew it every hour or so. 

Sunscreen can give you the right protection according to the skin tone or skin type you already have. It will block the non-visible parts of the sun rays spectrum, especially the UV-B and UV-C radiation that keeps on producing dark spots and malignancies that may lead to skin cancer and death. Never underestimate the power of the sun and keep yourself always safe by using the right sunscreen for the part of the body you would like to protect.

Prefer cosmetics that have SPF protection

Makeups, foundations, and concealers could block the sun rays if they include SPF protection to their formulas. Many brands offer cosmetics that can adequately protect your facial skin and prevent the creation of dark spots on your face. 

It would be hard to use sunscreen over your makeup when you are going to attend an outdoors professional event since it would leave oil spots on your skin. The SPF protection cosmetics give you the solution, and they are worth the extra money spent on them.

Stay indoors at sunshine peak hours

If there is no reason to go out, then stay inside when the sun is up and emits the maximum of its daily radiation. The peak hours for most of the countries in the western world are between 10.00 a.m. and 03.00 p.m. Keeping yourself safe is a responsible action for your family, since dark spots could be the initial step for something deeper and more serious than you thought.

Consequences of Dark Spots appearance on your facial skin.

There are multiple physical and mental consequences, deriving from the appearance of dark spots on your facial skin. Keep in mind that your face is the first thing others see on you and it needs to be clean, neat, and spotless to give the best impression.

Physical consequences:

  • Quick aging of your facial skin. The appearance of dark spots means that free radicals have entered your facial skin and start to decompose your cells. The aging of your skin becomes inevitable, and this is something that you couldn’t easily reverse.
  • Inflammatory processes on your skin. Dark spots can easily make you touch your face more than usual. It could induce an inflammation process that would need specialized care.
  • Deterioration of your acne problems. Teenagers and adults who keep on having acne problems could see them get aggravated by the appearance of dark spots on their faces. 

Mental consequences:

  • Anxiety and depression. When having dark spots on your face, you may lose self-esteem and make bad thoughts for yourself. People with dark spots seem more anxious through their social relations and get easily depressed.
  • Functional disability. Many women with melasma through pregnancy have been functionally disabled, leaving their job for a long period. It has happened due to the dark spots on their facial and abdominal skin.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do dark spots go away on face?

Yes, they do. Dark spots, no matter what the source is, eventually disappear over time as the body works to replace cells, although it might take a long time for that to happen.

Does vitamin C help with dark spots?

It has been scientifically proven that applying vitamin C-based skin lightening products will help to lighten dark spots on your face. It does take a while to see the effects, shown by one study that took 16 weeks for significant changes to be seen.

Why won’t my dark spots fade?

There are a couple of reasons, including not wearing the recommended sunblock ( minimum SPF 30), having a bad skin routine, and using low-quality products.


Dark spots on your facial and body skin are easy to get rid of with the right advice from your dermatologist. It would be wise to minimize the risk of home remedies by always taking the responsible view of the experts.

Modern therapies can achieve a high score of effectiveness, and you should follow them to find the ultimate solution to your dark spots issues.

It would be awesome to have your feedback on the treatments you decided to undergo for your dark spots. Sharing your thoughts and experiences with the community can get us closest to the final solution of these persistent skin problems, torturing millions of people in the modern world.

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