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Dark Spots on Skin

Dr. Sumaiya Khan
One of the disturbing and annoying things to deal with is dark spots on the skin. Read on to know all about the various causes and treatment options for this condition.
Dark spots on skin can pose a problem for many, more so because they may be difficult to conceal. There are many skin disorders that can cause dark spots.
These can range from something as simple as sunburns to serious conditions like melasma, birthmarks, Cushing's syndrome, chickenpox, neurofibromatosis, Fanconi anemia, Addison's disease, McCune-Albright syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Marfan's syndrome, deficiency diseases, etc.

Areas Prone to Dark Spots

Knees and Elbows

Hyperpigmentation is commonly seen in both men and women of all ages. It is rarely a worrisome condition, as it is only an unsightly problem. It mostly occurs on the knees and elbows because these are body parts which are subjected to higher amount of friction.
Also, in cases of poor skin care or excessive sun exposure, a person may have dark spots. Once again, hormonal imbalances or glandular conditions may also be a cause.


Some people have inherently dark lips, which may appear as dark spots on lips. Also, often due to ceaseless smoking, there may be darkening of lips.
Furthermore, other unhealthy habits like frequent lip licking and lip biting and high intake of tea and coffee may also cause the problem. One may also get dark spots due to use of old and expired cosmetics, or by using cosmetic brands that don't suit one's skin.


This condition affects the legs mostly due to aging. Certain diseases like eczema can also cause dark spots on legs. Photosensitivity is another reason for darkening of skin on legs. Dark spots may also occur due to excess melanin production, as a result of an allergic reaction, or due to excess amount of iron in the blood.

Under eyes

These are often seen as an extension of dark circles under the eyes, may be seen as a result of fatigue and tiredness, or may even be indicative of untoward hormonal changes in the body. Sometimes, the problem may be hereditary as well. Additionally, malnutrition and deficiency of any kind of nutrients or even dehydration may also pose a problem.


Facial dark spots is often the most disturbing of all conditions. One of the most common causes of dark spots or age spots on face, or simply freckles, is overexposure to the sun.
Dark spots on face may be caused due to any kind of trauma, which may lead to hematoma. Also, hormonal changes may manifest as dark spots on the face. Certain conditions, like leucoderma and hemangioma also lead to facial spots.

Treatment Offered

The treatment will depend on the condition causing dark spots. If hyperpigmentation is due to hormonal imbalance, then it will be best to treat the more serious hormone imbalance symptoms on a priority basis, as once the hormonal levels are back in control, the dark spots will fade away on their own.
However, given here are a few points that may help you get rid of dark spots on skin:
  • First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow a proper skin care regime.
  • Whenever you're planning to go out, always wear sunscreen ranging from SPF 30 to 50. You can also use a zinc oxide sunblock.
  • Wear sun-protective clothing when venturing out for long periods of time during the day, as this also helps ward off the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.
  • One of the most effective home remedies for treating dark spots is to mix half a teaspoon of lemon juice with glycerin and apply this on the dark spots.
  • You can also try and exfoliate skin at home by using simple homemade scrubs, like sugar scrub, baking soda scrub, salt scrub, avocado and cucumber scrub, etc.
  • To remove dark spots, especially in cases where the spots are not responding to home remedies, you can seek professional help, and try out chemical peels and laser therapy.
Thus, dark spots can occur in various places on the body, but they are not very difficult to treat. However, for stubborn discoloration marks, it is best to see a doctor and get the condition diagnosed and treated accordingly, at the earliest.
Disclaimer: This content is for informative purposes only and should not be substituted for the advice of a medical professional.