Dark spots and discolorations are one of the least talked about skincare concerns. You can find acne treatments and antiaging serums at every turn, but the products used to treat dark spots are a little more obscure, at least the ones that are really effective at making good on their claims.
If you’re dealing with skin discolorations, “age” spots, hyperpigmentation, or even scars you’d like to see lightened, finding a product on the shelves that actually does the job it’s supposed to do is a challenge. More often than not, you end up spending time and money on a range of products that do a mediocre job at best. The next step is to head to dermatologist and hear what advice they have to offer on the subject, and if there’s a product that can lighten or completely remove the dark spots that trouble you.
What Dermatologists Say About Removing Dark Spots
Skin discolorations and dark spots are actually a common problem, with an entire range of causes. Dark spots can be caused by injury, illness, hyperpigmentation, sun exposure, and the natural process of aging. We each have a certain amount of melanin in our skin which determines how dark spots affect us, meaning that there’s also some genetic components at play.
For a long time, people just accepted dark spots as a fact of life and learned to live with their new appearance. Then a few decades ago, we began to discover that there were ways to reduce or completely eliminate skin discolorations.
Today, dermatologists have tools at their disposal that enable them to reduce the visibility of dark spots, and in some cases, address the root cause. These range from laser treatments to topical applications. Today, one of the most popular treatments prescribed by dermatologists is known as Retin A.
How Effective Is Retin A for Treating Dark Spots?
Retin A is one of several brand names of a retinoid called tretinoin. Tretinoin is derived from vitamin A, and first received FDA approval to be used for the treatment of acne in 1971. Nearly 50 years later, we know so much more about Retin A, including how effective in can be reducing or removing dark spots.
This all happened pretty much by accident as individuals who were being treated with tretinoin also started noticing other benefits, such as how their skin tone evened out, became smoother, and dark spots began to fade. Retin A’s antiaging properties were discovered in much the same way. Since then, a multitude of studies have been conducted producing overwhelming affirmation of Retin A’s effects on the skin.
Retin A removes dark spots through one of its primary mechanisms – cellular regeneration. Retin A works on a cellular level to encourage cell renewal. This is key in reducing the appearance of dark spots. In many cases, dark spots are caused by damaged or aging skin cells that aren’t functioning the way they should. Too much melanin is produced, and dark spots appear.
As Retin A goes to work, it speeds up the process of cellular renewal, especially in targeted areas. The damaged cells are replaced with new, healthy ones and the dark spots eventually fade into oblivion.
Cautions of Using Retin A to Treat Dark Spots
Of course, there’s a flip side to everything, and we couldn’t expect something that works as wonderfully as Retin A to remove dark spots to not come with a few downsides. Retin A produces side effects in some people, with some of them being fairly unpleasant, especially in individuals with sensitive skin.
Retin A can dry out the skin, causing redness and irritation. Some people are simply more sensitive to it than others, and not everyone will be able to tolerate it. This is a part of the reason why Retin A is available through a prescription only.
Additionally, Retin A increases the skin’s photosensitivity, which means you must be extra diligent with sunscreen when using it. This is a bit of a Catch 22 because if not careful, Retin A can increase your risk of sun damage, which is one of the main causes of skin discolorations in the first place.
There is also the fact that the safety of using Retin A long term has not been fully established. If your only purpose of using Retin A is to remove dark spots, then you’re probably not looking at extended use unless your condition is severe. However, it has been established that Retin A is not safe for use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding – two times in a woman’s life when hormonal influences are known to cause skin discoloration issues.
An Alternative to Retin A for Treating Dark Spots
Retin A is a prescription strength retinoid used to treat a range of skin conditions. That said, it isn’t the only retinoid out there, and there is another category of non-prescription strength retinols that are showing themselves to be equally effective in producing the same results as Retin A, except without all the side effects and in gentler formulas.
If you’re dealing with dark spots that you would like to see vanish into thin air, applying a non-prescription strength retinoid cream such as Admire My Skin’s Clinically Effective Retinoid Cream that contains additional skin regenerating ingredients like hyaluronic acid can be just the solution you’re looking for, You don’t have to start with the harshest treatment to see the most immediate results. Give something gentle a try first, and your skin may thank you for it later.
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