Skin Spots: Types and Ways to Treat

Sunny days, beach, sea, countryside and... spots on the body. Our skin needs us to take care of it throughout the year, but it is in the summer that all care must be taken. You've probably already wondered whether the blemishes that appear on your face disappear on their own, or whether you can do something to eliminate them. We talk to you about the main types of skin spots and help you understand what you can do to prevent them.

What can cause skin blemishes?

On its official page , the CUF hospital network explains that “spots on the skin can appear in practically any area of ​​the body, at different ages, presenting different colors and shapes”.

Spots “are not all the same and can be caused by several factors, such as pregnancy or even taking certain medications; its color can range from dark brown to white; and its location can be either on the forehead or on the torso”.

According to the SPDV – Portuguese Society of Dermatology and Venereology, "some brown spots with a uniform color and a regular, very clear edge are signs of exaggerated exposure to the Sun and reflect accelerated 'aging' of the skin". "If the spot has another appearance, namely if it is asymmetrical, with an irregular color and a barely visible border, it should be observed by a dermatologist", reads the entity's website .

Knowing how to distinguish the different types of stains is essential so that the chosen treatment is the most appropriate. To do this, it may be necessary to seek professional help.

There are several possible causes for the appearance of spots on the skin, namely:

  • Genetic predisposition;
  • Infections caused by fungi;
  • Skin aging;
  • Hormonal changes;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Excessive exposure to the Sun;
  • Taking certain medications.

Types of stains

Melasma

Melasma is a non-contagious dermatological problem “caused by hyperpigmentation (excessive production and irregular distribution of melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin)”, as explained by CUF. Applying sunscreen with maximum protection factor every day is essential to overcome this problem, but consulting a dermatologist is imperative to understand which products are best suited to the clinical situation in question.

Chloasma gravidarum

During pregnancy, hormones increase melanin levels in the body, creating a kind of dark mask on the face. The cause of hyperpigmentation in this type of melasma is transient and, as such, the spots on the skin disappear a few months after giving birth.

Spots caused by the sun

Sun spots are caused by long hours of sun exposure without using sunscreen. The face, neck, hands and arms are some of the areas most affected by this type of blemish, which can be eliminated through exfoliation (in the case of lighter blemishes). The solution can also involve the use of a suitable whitening cream, as well as laser treatments.

Superficial mycosis of the skin

According to the CUF, “if you have spots on your skin or whitish macules in a shade lighter than your skin tone, this could be a sign of superficial mycosis of the skin or pityriasis versicolor (scientific name), commonly called "White cloth"". “This depigmentation of the skin is caused by a fungus present in human skin, especially in areas with greater oiliness”, which can “cause peeling and, sometimes, itching”.

Vitiligo

With no clinically proven cause, vitiligo is a disease that causes progressive depigmentation of the skin, manifesting itself in patches of light-toned skin in some areas of the body and face. There are several therapies available to restore the skin's natural pigmentation, and some treatments may have side effects.

Treatments

For a correct diagnosis, a dermatologist is the best professional to consult. However, both prevention and treatment of this type of problem can involve:

  • Apply sunscreen;
  • In cases of melasma, use topical creams and peels;
  • Taking oral or systemic antifungal medications.

In cases of chloasma gravidarum, “it may not be necessary to go beyond photoprotection”; In situations of vitiligo, “the skin responds well to repigmentation treatment”, explains CUF. Consult a dermatologist before resorting to drugs that may not be the best for your case.

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