“Hyperpigmentation, dark spots, are caused by overproduction of melanin in the skin by melanocytes,” says Melissa Doft, M. D. (American Board of Surgery certified plastic surgeon).
Though today I will primarily be talking about dark spots on legs, this hyperpigmentation can occur anywhere around the body.
NOTE: If you are not interested in reading about how and why dark and age spots appear on your skin, and just want a “quick fix”, you can use a natural formula I recommend to all my friends; you can find out more about it here.
What causes this overproduction of melanin?
Hormones – a change in hormone levels is one of the most common causes of hyperpigmentation on legs in women (especially during pregnancy).
Sun exposure – excessive sun exposure will increase melanin production and lead to skin hyperpigmentation.
Age – age can increase the size of melanocytes and make those dark spots on your legs more prominent.
Other causes – some other causes that lead to the hyperpigmentation of the skin on your legs are acne, waxing, or other types of skin damage.
Besides covering the main causes of dark spots on your legs, we are also going to cover some of the most common home remedies you can try to lighten those; as well as recommending a few products you can buy for more immediate results.
The Difference Between Acne Scars And Dark Spots
Before we tell you exactly how to get rid of dark spots on legs, we feel it is important to differentiate them from acne scars.
Acne scars are usually the result of inflamed blemishes. Skin pores become inflamed due to excess oil or dead skin cells build up, or due to bacteria. When these blemishes swell, the wall of the pores breaks causing lesions. Smaller and shallow lesions will usually heal quickly, but deeper, more severe ones will leave scars.
Dark spot and marks are known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and occur as a result of increased melanin(the pigment that gives our skin, hair, and eyes their color) deposition within the skin cells. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH, will appear in individuals regardless of their skin color but it is more prevalent in darker skin types.
Even though PIH can last for a very long time (months and even years) before it completely fades away, the good news is that we can affect its duration and shorten it drastically! You should start out by avoiding exposing these spots to direct sunlight – either cover them with your clothes or use a good sunscreen.
Most Common Causes Of Dark Spots On Legs
Sun exposure is the leading cause of dark spot you see on your skin; not only that, many other, related causes stem from it.
You might think that you are in danged only during hot, summer months when you are exposed to the direct sunlight but this is not true because it is not that visible beam of light that’s going to get you, it’s the UV radiation.
The UV radiation is not visible to the human eye and constitutes only about 10% of the total Sun output.
Now, a little UV exposure is not harmful; it’s good for you as this is how our body produces vitamin D. But if you go overboard, you will do more damage than good.
Prolonged exposure damages collagen fibers, accelerates skin aging, depletes skin’s vitamin A deposits and lead to dark spots.
Age Spots On Legs
Age spots, also called solar lentigines and liver spots, are most common in older individuals (over 50 years of age).
“Age spots,” as MayoClinic staff explains, “are areas of the skin where skin pigment becomes clumped together or produced in higher concentration.”
Though these spots are most commonly seen on hands, you should not be surprised if you see them on your legs as they can appear anywhere, if you spend a lot of your time outdoors.
We commonly associate freckles with the face, but they can appear on your arms as well as the legs.
Freckles appear due to an increased concentration of pigment melanin and, as such, can become more apparent after sun exposure.
There is also a hereditary element to freckles as we know they can appear on the skin in infancy (1 or 2 years of age).
Dark Spots From Moles On Legs
US National Library Of Medicine describes moles as clusters of skin cells called melanocytes which grow together.
Chances are you, and everyone around you (your family, friends), has moles as it is estimated that most people have between 10 and 40 moles on their body.
The interesting thing about moles is that we can develop them through our lives, but only until we are 40 years old; at this age, they start to fade away on their own.
Whatever you do, do not try to lighten or in any way aggravate your moles! Having moles on your body is completely normal, and you should not treat them as dark spots on your legs or any other part of your body.
If you notice your mole starts to grow, becomes assymetrical or develops jagged edges, make sure your visit your dermatologist!
Treating Dark Spots On Legs
After we’ve covered some basics and distinguished acne scars from hyperpigmentation, it is time to take a look at the best ways we can treat it and answer the question we asked at the very beginning of this article – “How to get rid of dark spots on legs!”
Though home remedies are not always as effective as premade formulas you can buy from the store, we always like giving people this option as well. Making home remedies is fun and will help you pass some time while getting to know your skin!
The old saying “When life gives you lemons make lemonade” really holds water here since lemon juice has been used as a home remedy for skin lightening for years.
The recipe for the lemon mask is quite simple and it goes like this:
- squeeze one fresh lemon
- add 1 tablespoon of honey
- add a few drops of essential oil and
- mix it good
After you’ve applied it to your skin, let it sit for 15-20 minutes and rinse off will warm water. IMPORTANT: do not apply this mask more than 3 times per week since it can damage the skin. Also, apply sunblock when going out regardless of the time of the year (remember that UV light can penetrate the clouds).
Raw potato is so rich in vitamin C it is believed to have mild bleaching properties. The recipe is simple: just cut a raw potato in two and rub the fleshy part over the dark spot. Repeat up to 3 times per week and track the progress.
Is there something this amazing plant can’t do? I wrote on many different topics and skin conditions and almost always recommend aloe vera! It will help calm down the skin inflammation and might even help with discoloration.
When you need is to break off the leaf and rub that white thick sap over the affected area on your skin. You can just leave it on without rinsing it, but you can also rinse it off after around 20 minutes.
Best Products For Getting Rid Of Dark Spots On Legs
Though the idea of using home remedies sounds appealing to most of us, the results will take longer to achieve, compared to products with premade lightening formulas. Knowing this, we’ve come up with a list of some of the best products to help you lighten your dark spots:
TruSkin Vitamin C Serum
When choosing a good skin lightening product, make sure you look at the list of ingredients – you should generally look for a high concentration of vitamin C. TruSkin serum is at the top of our list since vitamin C makes up a full 20% of this amazing cream.
This cream is also 98% natural and 72% organic and, as such, will be suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive, problematic skin. It is manufactured in the US, abides by all FDA regulations and cruelty-free (it was never tested on animals).
This serum will help with uneven skin tone due to acne marks, improve the skin texture, make it more vibrant and glowing, fight premature aging and skin damage due to UV lights and make your skin silky smooth!
Not only that, this amazing cream comes with a 3 MONTH FULL MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE.
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Kleem Organic Vitamin C Serum
Yet another natural solution with 20% Vitamin C and 15% Hyaluronic acid.
If you look at the label, you will see only natural ingredients, making this serum perfect for sensitive skin – it won’t cause those burning or stinging sensations, rather it will soothe your skin and restore its brightness and youthful glow.
The innovative formula, combined with airless packaging, will ensure the serum lasts longer without bottle oxidation and bacteria build-up. What this means is you will be able to use this bottle longer without worrying the serum will go bad. Also, the bottle comes with a pump for the ease of use – you will only need one pump to cover the affected skin completely!
Besides helping you fight hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone, Kleem serum will help with scarring, tighten the skin, reduce pores and make your skin healthier overall. It also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee!
Pure Body Naturals Vit C Serum
Last but not least, Pure Body serum with concentrated 20% vitamin C serum combined with vitamin E and Hyaluronic acid. This mix will help the serum get absorbed into the skin quickly and result in a dramatic (positive) impact on your skin.
This serum is also made in the US, it is natural and 72% organic. You’ve probably noticed all three serums we recommended so far were both natural and organic, don’t contain any harmful chemicals, parabens or alcohol. We believe this is the best policy since natural products won’t irritate the skin and are suitable for all skin types.
This product also comes with a full 3-month guarantee and it guarantees brighter skin, more even tone, reduced appearance of dark spots on legs, and an overall younger look!
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