Hyperpigmentation, or dark spots, can leave you feeling inadequate and self-conscious about your appearance. But you needn't be. In fact, you can get rid of dark spots on your skin quickly, just by changing a few skin care habits and having a willingness to try the treatment options available either over-the-counter or at your doctor's office.
Cleanse your skin with a mild soap twice a day. Avoid soaps or cleansers that contain strong ingredients like parabens, dyes or sodium lauryl sulfate. These can be drying and make dark spots last longer. After washing, rinse the skin well.
Apply an over-the-counter cream to your dark spots. Whether a retinol-based scar gel or a bleaching cream like hydroquinone, be sure to follow the package directions carefully. In most cases, you should apply these treatments once per day after cleansing just to your dark spots. Follow with a sunscreen to prevent sun exposure, which can darken spots.
Dab lemon juice on your dark spots. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best. Pour a bit onto a cotton pad and apply to your dark spots to encourage them to fade. After a few minutes, rinse the juice off your skin to prevent irritation.
Visit your dermatologist to discuss and undergo laser treatments. Several sessions are often needed to see results, but ablative laser therapy can be helpful in removing the top layer of skin, therefore decreasing the visibility of dark spots once the skin has healed.
Undergo cryotherapy to have your dark spots removed. Your dermatologist will place liquid nitrogen onto your dark spots to kill the pigment cells there. Once the skin heals, the dark spots should be much less noticeable. However, there is a risk of scarring following this treatment.
Brenda Barron is a writer, editor and researcher based in Southern California. She has worked as a writer since 2004, with work appearing in online and print publications such as BabyZone, "Cat Fancy" and "ePregnancy." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, Long Beach.