What Causes Skin Spots?
Skin discoloration or hyperpigmentation happens when the body begins to make too much of a pigment called melanin in one area of the complexion. Often, sun damage plays a role in the formation of dark spots. Exposure to the sun naturally triggers melanin production, but when UV damages cells, the natural process can malfunction, resulting in the overproduction of pigment. Certain medical conditions and hormonal changes due to pregnancy and birth control can also contribute to hyperpigmentation.
Creams with Medicinal Ingredients
Fade creams are used to reduce the prominence of skin discoloration, and many products on the market do so with a topical over-the-counter medication that is FDA approved for lightening the skin. Called hydroquinone, the drug interrupts the production of melanin, allowing dark spots to gradually fade away over time. While hydroquinone is highly effective at addressing skin discoloration, it's not ideal for everyone. Experts recommend talking to a doctor before using a fade cream that contains the ingredient.
Other Solutions for Hyperpigmentation
If you cannot use hydroquinone or prefer not to use medicinal ingredients, you can choose from a variety of other types of fade creams.
Some products use natural ingredients to lessen melanin production and reduce the concentration of pigment in areas plagued by spots. Ingredients that are commonly used in these types of fade creams include kojic acid, azelaic acid, licorice extract and bilberry extract.
Fade creams may also work by eliminating discolored cells. This can be done with exfoliators
like glycolic acid and lactic acid, fruit enzymes like papain and bromelain or a derivative of vitamin A called retinol. No matter what type of fade cream you choose to purchase, it's important to apply sunscreen daily in order to protect your skin against future discoloration.
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