Dark patches on your skin can be a nuisance. Since most people are worried about this happening to them as they age, this is a common concern. Both men and women can suffer from uneven patches of darkened skin. There are many remedies available to treat skin darkening and make it more even.
Skin darkening can occur in people of all ages and races. There are many reasons why the skin darkens. This article will discuss some of these reasons. It will also give some easy solutions for combatting skin darkening issues. So be sure to read all the way to the end of the article to learn more.
1. Use a Good Sunscreen, Hat and Sunglasses to Protect Yourself from the Sun’s Rays.
Before moving further, it is important to know what gives your skin its color. Also, you need to know why your skin undergoes pigmentation and what it can tell about your health.
Your skin has cells arranged in layers stacked over each other. Each layer of cells performs a specific function. The layer at the bottom consists of cells called melanocytes.
Your skin gets its color from a chemical called melanin. Melanocytes in our skin make melanin that protects you from the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. When these cells get damaged or become unhealthy, they either stop the production of melanin or overproduce it. This over production of melanin makes the skin dark.
The pigment melanin undergoes a change in composition when it comes into contact with the UV rays of the sun. While it protects you from the harms that the UV rays can do, this also makes the skin tan. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, your skin will gradually become dark in places that are exposed on a regular basis. You don’t need to worry, though, because there are many ways to easily get rid of this, and also steps to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Here are some ways you can avoid excessive tanning due to sun exposure:
– Homemade Skin Treatments: You can use a facial treatment to lighten your skin. There are many kinds of facial products available in the market, but if you are not interested in store-bought products that may be full of harsh ingredients, you can also whip up a face mask treatment at home. The homemade facial is natural and works great to lighten your dark skin.
Try a Luscious Cucumber Facial
Here is the list of tools and ingredients you need:
- One medium sized organic cucumber that you can get from your grocery store.
- A blender
- A knife
- A small bowl
- A brush
- A towel
Here is how you can make the cucumber facial:
- Cut half the cucumber into pieces with a knife.
- Put these pieces into the blender and blend them till the pieces turn into a thick paste.
- Put this paste aside in a bowl and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- The paste is for one time use only.
Follow the instructions below to use this dark skin remedy:
- Chop off two round slices of cucumber at put them aside.
- Rinse your face with plain water. Tap it dry using a clean towel afterwards.
- Take another clean towel and dip it in hot water. Squeeze the excess water out and keep the towel on your face for two to three minutes. Be careful to use hot water that you can bear.
- Now take the paste you made from before and apply it on your face with the help of a brush. Make sure you have covered your entire face expect the eyes.
- Put the cucumber slices you had made on your eyes.
- Keep the paste and slices on for 30 minutes. Otherwise keep the paste on till it starts to dry.
- Wash it off with the help of lukewarm water.
Try this remedy two or three times every week. You will see visible results in less than a month.
You can use the similar method and make another facial using following ingredients:
- Tomato juice
- Lemon juice
- Gram flour (Besan)
– Prevent Excessive Tanning: To prevent over-tanning, you can try the following tips and tricks:
- Sunscreen: Sunscreen or sunblock is a cream that keeps the sun from penetrating your skin and causing damage. You can buy a good sunscreen from your local drugstore.
- Protective Items: Wear sunglasses and hats to protect yourself from the sun. Sunglasses prevent the sun from darkening the skin around your eyes, as well as damage to the eye itself. A broad-brimmed hat can protect your head and skin darkening on the neck.
- Clothes: Covering your skin can protect it from sun damage and prevent darkening.
- Keep it Brief: If you want to tan, keep each session under 30 minutes.
- Avoid the Sun: Apart from this, you can try to avoid going out when the sun is at its peak. The sun at its peak produces the most UV rays, which can damage the skin and cause darkening.
Next in the list is a super-effective skin lightening system that gives results in less than 90 days. Read on to know more about it.
2. Try the Illuminatural 6i Advanced Skin Lightening System
Illuminatural 6i Advanced Skin Lightening is a skin lightening system. It works to clear off all forms of hyper-pigmentation from your skin. It does not make use of any surgery or chemical peeling. Instead, it makes use of:
- Natural skin lightening ingredients that are clinically proven to work
- Sun filters derived from plant sources
- Natural anti-inflammatory substances that suppress inflammation and resultant skin darkening
- Skin exfoliants that help scrub dead and dark cells off your skin
- Vitamins and anti-oxidants that keep your skin fair, clean and healthy
- Skin brightening moisturizers
This system is for you if you want visible skin lightening without having to struggle on your own. This system work works just as fine, no matter what skin type you have. This system promises visible results in as early as 90 days.
If you are looking to invest into something that is sure to work then the illuminatural system is worth a shot.
3. Skin Darkening During Pregnancy
It is common for pregnant women to develop patches of darkened skin. Women of darker complexion are more prone to have darkened skin. This condition is commonly known as the mask of pregnancy. This can also be hereditary.
You may notice the following skin changes during pregnancy:
- Skin darkening on your face, such as around your forehead, mouth, nose, cheeks, jawline and neck.
- Darker skin on your hands.
- Splotches on the parts of your body that are exposed to the sun.
- Spots around your nipples.
- Splotches around the genitals.
- A dark line on your belly.
Chloasma is the medical term for skin darkening during pregnancy. It happens due to the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy. The patches of dark skin usually fade after delivery.
You can take the following steps to decrease the effect of chloasma:
- Protect yourself from the sun as much as possible. You skin is exposed to enough sunlight while you walk down the street, take a ride in a car or simply sit by the window. Avoid going out when the sun is at its peak. You may also use a sunscreen or wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your skin.
- Use a gentle face cleanser and moisturizer. Products that irritate your skin can make the problem worse. Prefer herbal products as they are less irritating and less harsh.
- Use some makeup to cover the pigmentation. If the pigmentation bothers you, you can cover the patches with some makeup. Do not use any skin bleaching products as they may have adverse effects.
Just as skin darkening occurs due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, it may also be due to:
- Birth Control Pills: A hormonal change can be due to the use of birth control pills.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): It is a disorder of your ovaries in which they produce feminizing hormones in excess. One side effect of PCOS is skin darkening
- Addison’s disease: It is a disorder of the adrenal glands in which the glands produce fewer steroids than required. This gives you pigmented skin, especially in the armpits, neck and abdomen.
Talk to your doctor if you suspect that your skin pigmentation is due to any of the above conditions.
4. Ways to Beat Skin Darkening Due to Post-Inflammatory Pigmentation
Post-inflammatory pigmentation is the term used to describe skin darkening due to a skin rash. It also occurs after an injury or infection from fungus. Even acne scars qualify as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
When you injure yourself or get a rash, the skin around the affected area gets damaged. The damaged cells, which cannot function properly, begin to produce more melanin. This causes the skin around the wound or infection to become darker. The dark patches remain long after the wound or the infection has healed and can be a concern.
There are many ways you can get rid of this kind of hyperpigmentation. These methods include:
– Topical Treatments: There are several topical treatments that promise a fair skin. You should remember that these methods are not to be tried at home. You should always consult an expert dermatologist to know more about them.
These options include:
- Hydroquinone: It is the other name for the active form of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a skin bleaching agent that can cause visible skin lightening. Vitamin A nourishes your skin. It also acts as an antioxidant that helps flush toxins out of your system. Finally, it also helps decrease the amount of melanin in your skin.
- Azelaic acid: It is a natural material produced by yeast. It helps to heal damaged skin cells and stop abnormal production of melanin.
- Vitamin C cream: Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is frequently added to beauty products. It is an antioxidant and stops inflammation in your skin too.
- Tretinoin cream: When your skin gets damaged, your skin cells increase the production of a skin protein named keratin. It makes your skin thick and darker. Tretinoin creams help prevent the buildup of keratin in your skin. That is how it helps reduce skin darkening.
- Corticosteroid creams: Inflammation can be the main reason behind your dark skin. Your dermatologist may recommend you a corticosteroid cream. These creams help reduce skin inflammation and resultant darkness.
Glycolic acid peels: These are chemical peels that you can apply to the darkened areas of your skin. Glycolic acid helps to peel off damaged cells. Once the new layers of cells move up, the skin appears brighter.
- Alternatives: Your dermatologist may also recommend you the use of products containing:
- Kojic Acid
- Licorice Extracts
- N-Acetyl Glucosamine
– Laser Therapy: Doctors also prescribe laser therapy to treat severe cases of skin darkening. Severe darkening can be the result of allergies, injury or infections.
Laser treatments work well because they can help to:
- Clear off the layer of dead skin cells.
- Decrease the amount of inflammation in your skin.
- Lower the amount of melanin produced in the skin.
- Evens out your skin tone and makes it appear brighter.
- Reduce skin keratinization.
– Things to Avoid: You should avoid the following things that may be giving you an unevenly dark skin tone:
- Avoid the use of products that irritate your skin or cause allergies.
- Do not itch, scrub or peel the affected area, as this will irritate the area, introduce bacteria and just make things worse.
- Always apply the medication or your active brightening products exactly as directed. Do not increase or decrease the amount of any skincare product on your own. Always consult with your dermatologist first.
- Keep the affected area clean as much as possible.
5. Diabetes Can Cause Skin Darkening
Maintain a healthy lifestyle and check your blood sugar regularly. Acanthosis nigricans is a skin condition where the folds in the body become dark, velvety and discolored. It mostly affects your:
People who are obese or have diabetes are at a high risk of getting acanthosis nigricans. Obese people may also have skin darkening on the inner thighs. It results from the friction between their thighs as they walk.
There are a few symptoms that warn of acanthosis nigricans:
- The skin color changes slowly.
- Skin darkening on neck area, especially the folds.
- Odor or itch in the affected area.
- Skin darkening on hands.
- Dark, velvety skin in the folds of the body like in the armpits and groin.
- Skin darkening around mouth area.
Insulin is your body hormone that functions to keep your body sugar under check. Diabetes is the result of either your body not producing enough insulin or not responding well to it.
Most diabetics who are resistant to insulin may experience acanthosis nigricans. This mostly includes people with type 2 diabetes. Here is how this happens.
When you become resistant to insulin, your body secretes more insulin. Your body mistakes your resistance to insulin as insulin deficiency. To make up for that, it starts to secrete even more insulin. This results in high levels of sugar in your blood as well as high levels of Insulin.
The extra Insulin then causes the skin cells to reproduce rapidly. Also, the new cells now produced have more melanin. This produces patches of skin which have more melanin. As a result, these patches appear darker than your original skin.
How can you deal with acanthosis nigricans? Here are some options:
– Talk to your dermatologist. There are many cosmetic treatments available for treating acanthosis nigricans. Your dermatologist may recommend you one of the following products:
- 20 Percent Urea
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids
- Salicylic AcidRemember, you should not use these methods by yourself. You should consult a dermatologist before you can start with the use of any such product. Also, let your dermatologist know of any dietary supplements or vitamins that you are taking.
– Try some natural alternatives. You can also take some precautionary measures against acanthosis nigricans. These include:
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly. Exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes every day.
- Check your blood sugar level regularly. Talk to your doctor if your blood sugar levels are high despite the regular use of sugar lowering medicines.
- Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid the use of sugary and fatty food items.
- Incorporate sugar lowering spices like cinnamon into your diet.
- Use nuts as snacks instead of chips and bakery items. Nuts like walnuts and almonds can help reduce blood sugar.
6. Check Your Skin Often
Any skin spot that changes color, bleeds or increases in size can be a sign of cancer. You should be vigilant of any skin spot that changes color or increases in size. Not always but these changes can be an early sign of a growing cancer. These changes can occur in any birth spot or any spot that occurred later in your life.
– Birth Spots: You may have skin spots that were either present at birth or had developed shortly after birth. Birthmarks can be of many different colors, but mostly they are black or tan. Some birth marks lie flat on the surface of the skin. Some spots are raised above the surface of the skin or extend to tissues under the skin.
What causes a birthmark is not known. Birthmarks can change in size and color with time, begin itching or occasionally bleed. You must talk to your doctor if you notice any changes in your birthmarks.
Most birthmarks do not need any treatment. But when they do need treatment, the treatment varies from birthmark to birthmark.
If you notice a change in a dark patch of skin that you have had by birth, consult your doctor. This could be a sign of skin cancer. What can you do to avoid this from happening? The details are in the text to come.
– New Skin Darkening: If you have a skin spot that was not previously present is an alarming sign. It can be due to a type of skin cancer.
The most common types of skin cancer due to the over-exposure to the sun are:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
If you observe an unnatural growth on your skin or a part of your skin darkening, it can be a sign of skin cancer. What are the causes of body spots turning into cancer? Here are some reasons:
- Tanning and sunburns can increase your risk of skin cancer as much as smoking cigarettes does. The skin when exposed to the sun gets damaged. The skin cells, which get damaged by the UV rays, tend to become abnormal or cancerous. The skin also tends to lose its immunity when exposed to the UV rays.
- Other causes of skin cancer are:
- Repeated exposure to X-rays
- Scars from burns
- Exposure to certain chemicals
- Self-tanning methods, like exposure to UV radiation
Here are some tips for you to decrease the chances of birth marks of other skin spots from turning into cancer:
- Take proper care and precautions while going out in the sun.
- Select cosmetics and contact lenses that provide protection from the UV rays.
- Use a skin darkening cream rather than getting a tan by exposure to the UV sunlight or tanning beds. Skin whitening pills are also available in the market. But consult with your doctor before using them.
- Perform skin exams to check for growths or dark patches
- Immediately consult a doctor if you see any skin growth or darkening: Your doctor may:
- Surgically excise the area of growth.
- Use chemotherapy to treat different kinds of cancers. In this procedure, doctors use drugs to fight off cancer.
- Another option is radiotherapy. In radiotherapy, doctors use radiations to kill cancer cells.
7. Smoking Can Cause Skin Darkening
Experts suggest that melanin has a special affinity for nicotine. Nicotine is a chemical present in tobacco. When you smoke or chew tobacco, the nicotine from it gets collected in your organs like skin, heart, lungs, liver and brain. This increases your risk of cancer.
Smoking also can have negative effects on your skin:
- Nicotine can stain your lips, causing them to appear blotchy and darker. Nicotine can also cause constriction of your blood vessels.
- Carbon monoxide in smoke attaches to a blood protein called hemoglobin. This reduces the oxygen content of your blood. This decreases the oxygen supply to your body organs, especially your skin. This can increase skin pigmentation.
- Smoking also causes a loss of sensitivity to insulin. Insulin resistance, in turn, causes acanthosis nigricans in which skin becomes darkened.
- The heat from your cigarette can burn your skin.
Smoking also causes the skin to:
- Age faster by causing wrinkles and dark spots.
- Lose its elasticity.
- Get dry and brittle, as it reduces the vitamin A levels in your skin.
- Heal slower than it used to, causing a host of problems, such as infections.
- Ulcerate and become generally unhealthy.
The only way to stop skin problems that arise from smoking is to stop smoking altogether. If you struggle with this, see your physician for a smoking cessation program. With a little help, you can be smoke-free forever.
Congratulations: After You Quit
You can also take a few steps to restore your skin after you have quit smoking:
- Eat foods rich in Vitamin C and E.
- Follow a skincare regimen. Cleanse and moisturize your skin regularly.
- Use anti-aging skin products. Consult your dermatologist for more information.
- You can also consult a dermatologist for more advice on how to care for your skin.
Skin darkening troubles a lot of people and you may be one of them. This is not due to the color of the skin, but rather the unevenness of it. Skin in any shade is beautiful; however, darker patches can detract from your skin’s overall appearance.
Your skin darkening issue may be the result of your lifestyle choices. It can be the due to something even graver, like cancer. So follow the strategies mentioned in this article and get a bright and even skin tone.