Know the causes of skin blemishes

The skin is an organ that sometimes reflects some anomaly in the functioning of the body, through the appearance of spots, whose causes must be explored clinically to establish a diagnosis and consequently the appropriate treatment.

Spots on the skin can appear for various reasons, but, according to clinical dermatology, the two main causes are age and excess sun exposure, although some hormonal changes are decisive, especially in pregnant women.

Skin reactions to the traumas that it has suffered, such as burns, scrapes, scratches, as well as the consumption of some medications, which are called photosensitizers, are also common, since they produce a reaction in the skin when exposed to the sun while consume.

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Types of skin spots

There are several types of spots that can appear on the skin, which can be an alert about the presence of a disease, and, depending on their causes, have a specific diagnosis and treatment.

Among the types of stains are:

  • The stains in the face caused by acne (at any stage of life, even after adolescence).
  • The acanthosis nigricans, which are produced by diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity.
  • The so-called pityriasis versicolor, also known as beach fungus, which appears after having been in the sea, as a skin reaction to exposure to that environment.
  • The red ones that appear product of allergies or stings, which have a short duration and can be treated with allergy creams.
  • The dark ones that appear in the face, also called melasma, known as “cloth”, which in women appear due to hormonal changes, they are more noticeable during pregnancy and after giving birth, and in the case of men, due to the lack of sun protection.
  • Those produced by Burns.
  • Vitiligo.
  • Those produced by the sun and that deepen with age, also called senile spots.
  • The birthmarks.

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Main causes of spots on the skin

To go a little deeper into this topic, we are going to refer to normal and healthy skin color, which is due to a combination of carotenes, hemoglobin and melanin or skin pigments.

Spots on the skin, also known as dyschromias, or alteration in pigmentation, may appear due to defect, absence or excess of pigments or melanin; When these dyschromias or spots caused by hyperpigmentation appear, we may be in the presence of a excess melanin, which can be found in both the dermis and the epidermis.

Somehow, when talking about the types of skin spots, mention is made of the cause of their appearance; however, it is better to specify that there are other reasons for which we suffer from spots on the skin, insisting that in most cases it is due to a overexposure to the sun, without proper sun protection.

On the other hand, we can talk about dark and light spots that are obvious, which have their origin in hyperpigmentation, in the case of the dark ones, and in the depigmentation, in the case of light spots, as the skin tone is obviously increased or faded.

In general, the most common are dark spots, either in the form of freckles, moles or chloasmas (on the cheeks and cheekbones), which appear during pregnancy, and age spots.

When these spots on the skin become Visible causes can be internal or external. Among the most common internal causes – without considering diseases such as those mentioned (diabetes, metabolic syndrome, etc.) – are:

  • Lack of vitamin E, A and B
  • Excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays, which damage and alter the pigmentation of the skin.
  • The use of perfumes, cosmetics, creams and other products that contain alcohol or other substances that react with the sun.
  • The use of birth control pills that once in the body can alter pigmentation.
  • Medical treatments like antibiotics, antihistamines, diuretics, antifungals, antidepressants, antiulcers, and a long list of drugs.
  • In the case of pregnant women, excess hormones lead to overproduction of melanin, and causes the appearance of the deep and irregular brown color.


  • Dark spots on the face tend to clear up with daily use of creams with a sun protection factor greater than 30. It is worth saying that in these products the SPF, or SPF in English, indicated in numbers such as 15, 30 or 50, refers to the protection they offer against UVB rays.
  • Use creams containing hydroquinone, always under prescription, after evaluation by a dermatologist.
  • Likewise, it is recommended avoid staying in hot spaces for long periods of time.
  • For the red patches of skin the recommended use of corticosteroid creams, the time and frequency of use must be determined by the specialist.
  • In the case of pityriasis versicolor, caused by the fungus that lives naturally on the skin, and whose alteration causes a mycosis known as beach fungus, the treatment is based on an antifungal cream, following the dermatologist’s instructions.
  • For skin blemishes caused by burns, the recommendation is keep the affected area clean and apply hydroquinone-based cream; do not use perfumes or cosmetic creams and use sunscreen with a high protection factor.
  • People who suffer thickening and blemishes on the skin named acanthosis nigricans, they should use whitening creams and go to both the dermatologist and the endocrinologist, who will do the proper diagnosis and treatments.
  • This same recommendation should be followed by those with spots on the skin caused by vitiligo.
  • For the birthmarks, which may be darker than the rest of the skin, or reddish, it is the dermatologist who must evaluate the case and establish the treatment, as this will depend on the area where it is and the depth of the stain.

Usually, the spots on the skin that are present deep are dealt with acid peeling that remove the first layers of the dermis, as well as with the laser to gradually attenuate them.

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