When the skin’s melanocyte cells overproduce pigment, dark spots can develop. These spots can be caused by many things, including a skin condition like acne or eczema, sun damage, or trauma to the skin, such as picking at scabs or scratches. They can also be a side effect of certain medications. Some dark spots may fade on their own, but others may need treatment with a topical cream or a laser procedure.
Over-the-counter treatments that contain ingredients such as retinoids and glycolic acid may help lighten the dark spots, says the American Academy of Dermatology. A dermatologist can recommend a treatment that’s right for your skin tone and type of spot.
It’s important to treat any underlying dermatoses before using aggressive treatments for hyperpigmentation, says the National Institutes of Health. For example, if a person has seborrheic dermatitis and melasma, it’s crucial to clear the dermatoses before trying treatments to erase melasma. Otherwise, the melasma could return and become more prominent.
There are a few different laser treatments to treat dark spots, including pulsed dye lasers, radiofrequency microneedling with a device called the Ellipse Frax 1550, and fractional skin resurfacing with the Elipse IPL. In most cases, these procedures require several treatments to see noticeable results. A good skincare regimen and daily sun protection is also critical to maintaining your results after laser treatments. hyperpigmentation treatment