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How Dark Spots are Caused and How Men Can Treat Them

Grace Michaeli

Dark spots, your wrinkles’ uglier cousin, are in fact a rather common problem in people over 50, though in certain circumstances, young people can get them too. But first, what exactly are dark spots? Occasionally referred to as “liver spots”, these skin blemishes are brown blotches on your skin, formed in different ways. They are of various sizes and can appear on any part of your skin, but mostly those exposed to the sun. Even though they go by many names, the most common one is “age spots”, but unlike wrinkles, aging is not the only cause for their unwanted appearance. Which means, that there are ways to prevent and get rid of those dark spots. Here are some reasons you may be suffering from them, too: 


Catching Rays 

While it is true that dark spots are more likely to appear in people with lighter skin, according to different studies, overexposure to sun is one of the main reasons that you may be suffering from them. Your skin contains melanin which is the pigment that gives color to your eyes, hair and skin. The sun’s ultraviolet rays encourage production of melanin, which in turn promotes the creation of dark spots. 


Sure, it’s hard to resist a decent tan on a hot summer day, and you don’t have to give it up altogether, but having good sun protection can make all the difference between clear skin and a spotted one. 


It should also be noted, that these particular dark spots caused by sunlight, aren’t only aesthetically displeasing, they can also be quite dangerous, and in certain cases, require professional attention. So, just to be on the safe side? limit your sunbathing time, and use the sun-protection that your skin deserves. 


Dark spots in the sun
Having good sun protection can make all the difference


It’s Not You, It’s Your Skin

Another infamous reason is illnesses and other skin irritations, over which you may or may not have control. Diabetes, for instance, is known for being able to create dark spots. Different hormonal changes may also bring on small patches or other forms of discoloration. Genetics, inflammation and even wound healing, are all conditions that can work against your skin. 


But not to worry – even those have a solution. All you need to do is make sure that your skin responds well to the products you use. Since certain remedies, especially anti-inflammatory ones, are known for increasing these skin pigmentations. 


Age Before Beauty 

And last but not least; dark spots are reminders of time passing by. You may not see them at first, but as the aging process accelerates, they’ll become more prominent and even darker. In men, they mostly appear on the face, hands, arms and shoulders. With age, the structure of your skin changes, and your system starts to overproduce melanin – which can even cause hyperpigmentation. This also means, that if not treated, the dark spots will increase and slowly spread. 


While men and women have the same chances of having this particular discoloration, men’s dark spots have a tendency of being darker. As men’s skin is usually rougher than women’s, it also means these spots are harder to brighten – but never say never. 



So, What Can You Do About Dark Spots? 

Well, experts say that the number one way to get rid of dark spots, is by preventing them in the first place. But assuming this realization isn’t very helpful if you are already dealing with these patches, there are things that can be done; age spots are by no means impossible to remove. 


There are in fact countless of remedies, ranging from natural to surgical, all you need to do, is find the one that works best for you. There are different dermatological solutions such as chemical peels, laser treatments and other more invasive options. While these treatments can potentially remove these dark spots completely, they are intense, penetrate deeper skin layers and can be expensive and at times even painful. 


But assuming that you don’t want to frequent your dermatologist or other cosmetic health professional, there are some things that you can do on your own. For instance, some home treatments, can include items easily found in your kitchen or bathroom cabinet:  

–  aloe vera

– apple cider vinegar

– buttermilk

– castor oil 

– horseradish 

– parsley 


apple cider vinegar
This is oneo of the items that should be easily found in your kitchen


And many more. Vitamin C is also a popular treatment that has been shown to brighten skin. The most frequently used and known of such DIY solutions, is applying sliced lemons on the affected areas. While these remedies may be found easily around your house, they have a moderate success in actually removing your incessant average dark spot.


The best measure you can take, is choosing something in between a dermatological invasive treatment and a natural homemade solution; over the counter brighteners or otherwise, skincare designed to both treat such skin blemishes as well as suitable for men’s skin. For instance, Particle, is one of such solutions that can be easily incorporated into your daily skincare routine, and is designed for men. 


Other topical creams are also available, and have a positive lightning affect. You may even get one with a prescription from your dermatologist. The bottom line is, however, that you don’t have to accept living with dark spots, there are definitely things that can be done. Effective skincare is, more often than not, your best course of action since they are mostly risk-free, have proven results and are cleverly designed to treat your skin. 


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