Dark Spots: 6 risks you might not know about

Dark Spots: 6 risks you might not know about

Dark spots are pretty stubborn when it comes to skin care. 

Many people focus on treatment, but treatment can be a long process and requires more intense facial treatments and home care.

So the wise thing to do is exercise a little prevention.  Of course, spf should be applied;

  • before you leave the house
  • every 2 hours (it wears off no matter how high the number)
  • after sweating or swimming as it washes off

But some things that promote dark spots may surprise you.  Let's see which ones you need a reminder about or didn't realize.  

Allergy medicines

Allergy medicines are commonly used.  Some people use them every day of their lives.  But allergy medicines make your skin more sensitive to light.  There are many alternative, natural ways to deal with allergies, but if you must take over the counter medications, then avoid sun on areas you don't want to risk spots.  This is usually the face, decollete, upper back, arms and hands.  Consider a sun block like the lifeguards wear, or spf clothing (yes, its a thing!)


Antibiotics also make your skin more sensitive to light.  Usually you only take these for a short time, so avoid the sun for that time and several days after.  Or use the above suggestions to limit risk.


Scrubbing or exfoliating skin before sun and heat exposure can cause more dark spots. You already know this, right?  But every time I look at clients' products, they have acid exfoliators in their products, without even realizing it.  Look for acids like glycolic, malic, mandelic, retinoic/retinol, pyruvic, lactic, and gluconolactone.  

Tanning beds

Tanning beds are used by people because they think they will avoid a burn or spots if they prime their skin with a tanning bed before going to the beach.  It simply isn't true.  Tanning beds are UV light; exactly the type of light you want to avoid.  The sun has this, but a well formulated sunscreen will address UV light.  Using an spf in tanning beds is not done.

Previous sunburn

Get a sunburn and dark spots you thought were gone reappear.  The skin cells responsible for dark spots are melanocytes.  Don't blame them - they are doing their jobs.  Their job is to protect your deeper layers of skin from damage.  Think of them like an umbrella - an activated melanocyte put up a little umbrella of color to protect you from more UV damage in the deeper layers of skin.  It is difficult to get them to "stand down", and they are always beneath the surface ready to spring into action when exposed to UV light.

Picking/popping your pimples

Picking or popping pimples also activates the melanocytes described above.  They sense an attack and do their best to protect the deeper layers from harm by turning a darker color.  The more the perceived threat, the darker and longer lasting the color. 

Pro help for dark spots

Need help with treating dark spots?  Help is available in-studio or online.  My online consultations can usually be booked in within a few days and will get your spots looking lighter fast.

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