Human skin is prone to rashes and blemishes of all kinds. Most of the time, they are harmless, but it is essential to know them and their symptoms to understand how to act. The skin spots appear on the face, hands and other visible areas exposed to the sun. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the body produces excess melanin in specific patches of the skin. Thus, it gives rise to flat skin patches of a darker shade ranging from light brown to black, varying in size and shape.
Types of skin spots:
- Pigmentation spots: They are small, darkened plaques whose main cause is sun exposure, which is why they appear in especially exposed areas: face, hands and arms.
- Melasma or chloasma (pregnancy spots): They appear dark and irregular areas on the face or arms. They affect 90% of pregnant women as a result of hormonal influences and birth control pills.
- Inflammatory hyperpigmentation: This type of spots appears when a skin lesion heals and remains in the form of a flat spot with changed colour. It is common in people with acne and can also be caused by cosmetic procedures.
What are the most common causes?
Hyperpigmentation of the skin responds to an overproduction of melanin (the pigment that gives the natural color to the skin, hair and eyes). Skin spots appear in the form of plaques. It can be triggered by various factors, as already explained, but the most common causes are sun exposure, genetic factors, age, hormonal influences, and skin lesions or infections.
What are the most effective treatments?
The most used treatments are; chemical peels and laser therapy.
Chemical peels consist of applying an acid solution to the affected area to remove superficial layers. These chemicals cause blistering of the skin and ultimately exfoliation, with new, uniform skin appearing underneath.
Laser therapy has almost the same effect as the chemical peels, but it is more precise since the dermatologist has more control over the treatment. It is a technique that allows “shooting” the affected areas with high intensity light. There is lighter treatment on the skin’s epidermis or superficial layer, and other more intense ones penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.