Health Hack: Dealing With Dark Spots On Skin


Acne, psoriasis, scrapes, scratches and other skin wounds can all cause what’s known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation — aka dark spots on the skin. Unlike “age spots,” which are related to UV exposure, or melasma, another skin darkening condition related to hormones estrogen and progesterone, dark spots caused by post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation will fade over time and respond well to natural treatments.

Doctors may recommend topical steroid creams for hyperpigmented spots, and there’s no shortage of  skin spot brightening and lightening creams on the market (many containing toxic ingredients). But there are milder and more natural (not to mention less expensive) ways you can speed up skin healing and lightening. To deal with dark spots, try:

1.  Exfoliating regularly. Sloughing off dead skin cells can help reveal healthy skin underneath. According to skin care expert Renée Rouleau, “the more you remove the surface damaged skin tissue, the more you are ridding the skin of the dark marks and encouraging the formation of new healthy (non-scarred) skin tissue. The result is more even-toned skin with less scarring.”

2. Aloe vera gel. Not just for burns, aloe vera gel can also help treat hyperpigmentation. Pure gel from the stem of the aloe vera plant is rich in vitamins E and C, collagen, and exfoliating enzymes. Apply it directly to scarred skin.

3. Avoiding more UV rays. Avoid excessive sun exposure and don’t let your skin spots see the sun without heavy sunscreen. It’s tempting to think a tan might camouflage spots and scarring, but UV exposure will only make dark spots worse.

4. Vitamin E oil. I’ve been plagued with post-inflammatory scars often in my life, leftover from bug bites and cat scratches and all sorts of things that I have a bad habit of unconsciously scratching at (thereby slowing the wound healing process and encouraging scarring). Of all the things I’ve tried — including special dark spot treatment creams — I’ve had the most luck with pure vitamin E oil, which is ultra-moisturizing and anti-inflammatory.

5. A chemical peel. As long as your skin isn’t irritated or dry, you may want to try a chemical peel on spotted areas. Chemical peels are sometiemes known as ‘chemexfoliation’ or ‘derma-peeling because they’re designed to exfoliate skin. Common ingredients such as glycolic and lactic acids can help even skin tone, lighten pigmentation, stimulate collagen production and promote cell turnover.

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    • robinv

      How can you post an article on dark spots on skin and fail to even mention skin cancer? Basal carcinoma cells often catch the patient off guard because they look so innocent. You have a forum to educate, please consider this. And yes, it would be nice to read a column about skin care that looked beyond beauty and anti aging.

      • Elizabeth

        Hi Robin. We’ve written about skin cancer here quite a bit previously, and I’d say *most* or at least half of our skin care articles are about keeping your skin safe & healthy, not beautiful or ‘young’ looking. But some — a lot, actually — of people’s dark spots aren’t caused by skin cancer, they’re caused by much more benign circumstances like acne scars and inflammation, and that’s what this post attempted to address.

    • tony

      i have been suffering from psoriasis for 8 years.. since 2012 it got better.. infact.., only balck dark spots are left over my lskin. but am feeeling uneasy with these.. am following a particular diet instructed by the docter.. yet i cant see the results better. iam spending thousands of rupees over my disesase.. will there be any chance to get rid of my black spots.

    • Mark Tennis

      Like the old saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. The Dr Max Powers Scar Serum actually works for dark spots. But you will not get overnight results. I have several dark spots from scars, acne spots, and simply having fun as a kid. I have always used palmers cocoa butter for my scars for years and thought id switch it up. I used it every day faithfully for 2 weeks before I saw a slight change. Another 2 weeks before I seen a more noticeable change. They are still there but less noticeable.

      All in all the product does work, shipping was fast

    • Georgina@Northampton Skin Camo

      It’s really important to protect our skin from different types of dark spots. I am always felling scared with those spots. But through your above solutions now I am get rid of from those kind of dark spots.I am already follow some of your above solutions and have a superb result on it.