Behind the brown spot
Dark marks, dark spots & more: hyperpigmentation, demystified.
- Hyperpigmentation is different from freckles or birthmarks
- Daily SPF use helps to prevent UV-induced hyperpigmentation
- Fading dark spots is possible, but it typically takes at least 30 days
Dark spots have a major influence on how old people think we are. In fact, one study showed that unbalanced skin tone can make a person look more than 20 years older! The big questions: where do dark spots come from, and what can you do about them?
It helps to understand the science behind dark spots and brown spots. The official term for dark spots and other forms of skin discoloration is hyperpigmentation. Unlike freckles, hyperpigmentation doesn’t fade in winter and becomes more visible as we age.
But what causes it?
Irregular production of melanin (the brown or reddish pigment in skin). Certain triggers – unprotected sun exposure in particular – cause this irregular production, which leads to surface colour-clumping. Other causes include hormonal factors (birth control pills and pregnancy), and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) caused by past trauma or scarring (think a popped pimple or a deep cut). Hormonal hyperpigmentation and PIH are both intensified by sun exposure.
So, what to do about it? Here’s how to figure out what’s causing your dark spots – and take action.
call in the experts
Ask a Dermalogica skin therapist for a free Face Mapping skin analysis and consultation to get to the root of your dark spots. Knowing your personal triggers will reveal the best treatment. They can even recommend professional treatments to help you fade dark spots faster!
apply SPF daily
Did you know that spending just 30 minutes unprotected in the sun can undo a month’s worth of effort in fighting hyperpigmentation? Sunscreen helps prevent UV-induced pigmentation, and it also helps prevent existing spots from becoming more intense. Wear it daily to make the most of the treatments you try.