Dark spots and the causes

November 12, 2012

Dark spots and the causes

Dark spots or hyperpigmentation, that appear on the skin are a common sign of aging. During middle age these dark spots are a common skin complaint and there are number of factors that can cause them to develop. The more you are aware of some of the conditions and agents that promote dark spots, the more you can do to prevent them. First of all there are a number of skin diseases, of which dark spots can be a symptom. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is one of the least spoken of causes of dark spots and therefore one of the least publicly known. It develops after some kind of trauma to the skin, often caused by infections such as acne as well as other skin diseases including:

  • Melasma,

  • Linea fusca,

  • Riehl’s melanosis,

  • Erythromelanosis

  • Poikiloderma of Civatte

Medications are a more common cause of dark spots as certain kinds can make the skin extra sensitive to exposure to the sun. Other medications bring on dark spots without even seeing the sun. Some of them include:

  • Oestrogens,

  • Tetracycline,

  • Amiodarone,

  • Phenytoin,

  • Phenothiazines

  • Sulphonamides.

Dark spots including melasma, solar lentigines (also known as freckles) and ephelides as well as many other kinds of skin damage can all be caused by exposure to ultra violet light. Finally there also diseases and conditions, which can seem totally unrelated to the skin or skin conditions but can still cause dark spots. Some of them are:

  • Pregnancy,

  • Liver disease,

  • Addison’s disease,

  • Hemachromatosis

  • Pituitary tumours.

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