Melasma

Get rid of dark spots in a natural way.

Hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation are pretty common problems with the skin. The first, also known as melasma or chloasma, depending on the causes of its occurrence, is manifested by the production of brown spots. Hypopigmentation consists of the appearance of more open, almost white spots on the skin.

Find out the causes of the brown spots on the skin, who they can affect and how they can be prevented or treated.

Why do brown spots appear on your skin?

The skin colour is given by melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, the natural skin pigment. The appearance of brown spots is due to the hyperactivity of these cells, which occurs under certain conditions.

External causes

Solar spots. More intense activity than the usual melanocytes and melanic spots may be caused by long exposure to the sun in the absence of correct sun protection. In this situation, hyperpigmentation is also called melasma. To prevent the occurrence of such harmful effects on the skin due to solar radiation, specialists recommend the daily use of creams and solutions with UVA and UVB protection factor and their application in a dense layer.

Another possible cause of brown spots on the skin is exposure to chemicals such as betaxophol or minocycline. They can also stimulate excessive melanin production.

Medicinal treatments with hormones such as estrogen or progesterone, including contraceptives, may also be responsible for the appearance of hyperpigmentation called chloasma.

Strong scrubs or aggressive skin peeling can sensitize and can make sunburn easier. Although these are not a cause of hyperactivity of the skin pigments, they can facilitate the appearance of brown spots.

Internal causes

Dark spots from pregnancy. Brown skin blemishes have nothing to do with the poor liver activity, contrary to popular opinion. These may, however, occur as a result of stressful or very emotional situations. Chloasma can also be caused by hormone oscillations in the absence of medical treatment. Therefore, some women get these brown spots during pregnancy due to intense hormonal activity and disturbance of estrogen and progesterone levels. For these reasons, women are more exposed than men in the appearance of melancholic spots.

At the same time, it should be known that they increase or intensify with aging, but this does not necessarily have to do with the aging, but with the prolongation of periods of exposure to solar radiation.

In what areas can brown spots appear and what types of skin are exposed to hyperpigmentation?

Areas that may be affected by hyperpigmentation include face, neck, back, arms, hands, thighs and legs.

When it comes to melasma, the most exposed areas are the same with a higher solar exposure: the face, the décolleté and the arms.

Melasma or chloasma can affect any type of complexion, regardless of its pigment. Although it is erroneously believed that open-minded people are more prone to hyperpigmentation, the truth is that darker or darker skin may suffer from unprotected sun exposure, hormonal oscillations, or contact with certain chemicals.

How to prevent brown spots on the skin?

As the most common cause of brown spots on the skin is sun exposure, the first method of prevention for them is the use of sunscreen creams and lotions complete with UVA and UVB. Apply in thick, daily, on all areas exposed to the sun: face, neck, arms and hands, if any. To make sure you have an effective defense, opt for creams with 50+ protection factor. The skin becomes more sensitive in the case of hormonal disorders due to its smoking or pollution, in the context of an unhealthy lifestyle or with aging. Therefore, you should pay special attention to skin care and care if you find yourself in any of the situations described. UVA and UVB solar radiation does not affect the skin just during summer, but throughout the year. The use of sunscreen creams and lotions must therefore be daily, regardless of the season. It is very important to respect the hours indicated by the specialists when you are willing to expose yourself to the sun to tan. Avoid the 10:00 - 16:00 hours when taking the beach, apply the photoprotective lotion 15 minutes before leaving home to ensure its effectiveness and repeat the procedure after 2-3 hours.

Natural treatments for brown spots

Lemon juice: Apply lemon juice as it is on the face or dilute it with rose water if your skin is sensitive and let it work for half an hour, then rinse with warm water and moisturize the complexion. Repeat the procedure 3 or 4 times a week. If you have dry skin, this treatment should be avoided as it can dehydrate your skin.

Papaya paste: Pass a papaya fruit to the blender and apply the paste obtained on the skin. Let it dry and then rinse with warm water. Papaya enzymes have the ability to break down melanin and is therefore effective in removing brown spots. You can do this treatment up to 5 times a week.

Pineapple mask: Paste a few fresh, pineapples and apply the paste on the face, similar to the papaya process and rinse the face when you feel the mask dry and gently squeeze your skin. Its enzymes act the same as papaya fruit, and the process can be repeated 3-5 times a week.

Turmeric paste: Use turmeric powder, lemon juice and sesame seeds powder in equal amounts until you get a homogeneous paste. Apply it on the clean face, let it act for 30 minutes and rinse it with plenty of warm water.

Olive oil: Hydration of the skin with olive oil after cleansing can help cells regenerate and regulate melanin.

The best products and solutions for treating brown spots

In the pharmaceutical and cosmetics market there are a number of effective products for treating melasma. In addition to applying it to affected areas, it is important to constantly exfoliate your skin to stimulate cell regeneration to give it brilliance and luminosity. The active ingredients in the most effective products are hydroquinone, azelaic acid, vitamin C and kojic acid. Here's how they work and which side effects can be:

  1. Hydroquinone and Arbutin. These substances inhibit melanin activity. They are very strong, so cosmetics usually contain them in concentrations of 1 to 4 percent. For maximum efficacy, they opts for a product that besides hydroquinone also contains salicylic or glycolic acid. Arbutin is a derivative of hydroquinone, less effective than it is when used in isolation. Usually, cosmetics have it in concentrations of 2% but associate it with other melanin inhibitors.
  2. Azelaic acid. Azelaic acid is also an inhibitor of melanin. It works similarly to hydroquinone, but it is weaker, so an effective cosmetic solution should contain at least 10%.
  3. Vitamin C. Vitamin C also inhibits melanin production when found in cosmetics in concentrations greater than 10%. 
  4. Kojic acid. Despite the fact that it has the ability to inhibit melanin production, this acid is rarely found in cosmetic ingredients because it can have adverse effects due to the instability of the molecule.

Tips and recommendations for preventing and treating brown spots

Do not get out of the house without protecting your skin with a UVA and UVB protection cream, SPF 50+. Solar radiation is a constant threat to the skin, regardless of the season, so daily protection is essential.

Do not use perfumes directly on the skin, all the more so before exposing yourself to the sun. The alcohol they contain eliminates the active substances of the protective cream and creates an environment conducive to sunburn.

Combines cosmetic treatments to enhance their effectiveness. For example, hydroquinone is more effective when used with retinoids.

Avoid sitting in the sun between 10:00 and 16:00 when the radiation is stronger, regardless of the season.

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