top of page
  • Renee Roland

Pigmentation | Dark Spots: Causes and Treatment

Pigmentation or dark spot is a skin condition that can make skin darker due to melanin. It can also be a negative occurrence, mainly due to how much melanin is produced in the skin because of so many factors. This leads to skin darkening, usually around a particular region like the face, arms, and shoulders.

What Causes Skin Pigmentation?

Skin pigmentation or dark spots occur depending on several factors. Below are the most common causes:


Aside from hormones, genes are responsible for regulating the melanin production process. There are over 125 genes amazingly known to affect skin pigmentation. They can adjust how much pheomelanin or eumelanin the skin cells produce and how well they survive and function, which can cause the skin to shift over time.

Sun Exposure

Sun exposure for too long causes the body to produce more melanin to protect the skin. That said, this causes dark spots or patches on the skin called age spots or sunspots.

Skin Inflammation and Wound Healing

When there is an inflammation of the skin, it leads to dark skin afterward, and people with darker skin are the ones who are more likely to develop post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Skin inflammation can include eczema, psoriasis, acne, lupus, or an injury to the skin, which causes brown spots to develop. Because of these, inflammation causes a temporary increase or decrease in the pigments due to the trauma experienced by the skin.


Hyperpigmentation is common during pregnancy. They are darker patches of skin that can form when people experience hormonal changes. In addition, hormones can also trigger melasma.

Reactions to Drug Use

Antimalarial drugs and tricyclic antidepressants are certain medications that can cause hyperpigmentation. In these cases, patches of skin may turn gray. Additionally, chemicals in topical treatments can also sometimes cause hyperpigmentation.

Medical Conditions

Hyperpigmentation’s more serious causes are Addison’s disease and hemochromatosis. Addison’s disease affects the adrenal glands. It can cause hyperpigmentation in certain body areas, including lips, skin folds, elbows and knees, knuckles, toes, and inside of the cheek.

What Are Types of Pigmentation?

Skin pigmentation comes in different forms, which include the following:

  • Melasma. This pigmentation usually appears on the face and mostly among women due to pregnancy and hormones. Melasma results in brown patches on both sides of the face, especially on the cheeks, upper lip, and forehead.

  • Solar Lentigines or Sun Damage – These are spots that occur on the skin due to damage resulting from the sun. The spots are usually sliver spots or age spots. They appear on the face, arms, shoulders, chest, and upper back.

  • Chloasma is known as the ‘mask of pregnancy, which occurs in pregnant women. Sun exposure can contribute to worsening this type of pigmentation.

  • Freckles or Ephelides – Ultraviolet rays can cause freckles, but they can also be inherited from a family member.

  • Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) – This type usually appears after a skin injury. Also, it can occur after a traumatic skin treatment or skin lesions. Another cause of it is the improper use of skin products.

  • Hori’s Nevus- Known as Acquired Bilateral Naevus of Ota-Like Macules (ABNOM), a condition seen almost exclusively in Asian Chinese skin types. Typically, it appears as bluish-gray flat hyperpigmentation on the cheeks but may involve the eyelids, nose, and forehead.

  • Seborrheic Keratosis or Pigmentation Burns. This is a benign pigmentation growth on the skin, which may lead to cancer. Typically, it appears oval or round and can range in the colors light tan to black.

What Are The Treatments Of Pigmentation?

People resort to addressing dark spots in different areas they want to lighten for cosmetic reasons. It’s best to consult with trusted dermatologists for an effective skin pigmentation treatment. With their guidance, they can determine the best treatment for those pigmentations according to the type of skin problem, condition, size, and area of the body.

Although some are harmless, most people wish to get rid of pigmentation on their skin. Fortunately, there are now several treatment methods that can effectively treat them.

Laser Treatments

Treating pigmentations with advanced technology can help target the skin’s deeper layers. Mainly, laser treatments use laser energy to target darker spots and break pigmentation into smaller particles. Different lasers differ in their pulse duration, wavelength, and laser light used.

Creams or Serums

Creams and serums are a few medical-grade skincare products that consist of active ingredients. Usually, these are used to prepare and support the skin before and after treatments, such as lasers, chemical peels, and facials.

Professional Chemical Peels

These chemical peels are offered from aesthetics clinics and not the ordinary ones that are done at home. The chemical peels offered at skin clinics contain active ingredients that effectively alter pigmentation by penetrating deep into the skin. The chemicals dissolve the skin’s outer layers, signaling the body’s natural healing process to start, leading to collagen production that evens out the skin tone and texture.

What Are The Preparations Before And After The Treatment?

The best pigmentation treatment results depend on holistic care, which includes:

Before the treatment:

  • Not receiving salon services a week before the session.

  • No harsh scrub or any home remedies two days before the treatment.

  • Avoid wearing makeup or using other cosmetic products on the same day of the appointment.

  • Avoid shaving at least 12 hours for men before the scheduled peel procedure.

  • Avoid using any active priming cream four to six days before the treatment or as recommended by the dermatologist.

After the treatment:

  • Stop using soap or cleanser for the next 12 hours after the service, and wash the face with only plain water.

  • No strenuous exercises and cosmetics for 24 hours following the treatment.

  • No sauna baths and steam for the next three days post–treatment.

  • Never forget to apply sunscreen every three hours and avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible.

  • Avoid undergoing any salon service for at least a week after the treatment.

  • If mild redness or irritation occurs, apply a cold compress and moisturizer three to four times daily.

  • Never pick or rub the treated skin during or after the procedure.

The Bottom Line

Many people worldwide have been dealing with a shift in skin tones, such as skin damage and chronic skin conditions. Premier Aesthetics LLC offers Perfect Derma™ Peel, a medical-grade peel beneficial for patients of any skin type patients of any ethnicity can achieve beautiful results. They have significant experience in treating all skin types to ensure safe and effective treatment for pigmentation and help you achieve your desired aesthetic goals.

94 views0 comments


bottom of page