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What is the difference between Dark Spots and Melasma?

For normal beauty enthusiasts, there is hardly any difference between melasma and hyper-pigmentation or dark spots. These are terms that many people have hardly heard about. However, apart from their similarity of appearance, they vary a lot when it comes to underlying conditions of these spots and their treatments. Let us dig deep into the details in the following sections.

What is Hyper-pigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation shows up in the form of patches or sections of skin that appear different, like, skin with darker color compared to skin in surrounding areas. It is a term used for spots resulting from issues such as liver spots, acne, freckles, sun exposure, etc. A good number of these skin problems are easily treatable and tend to be harmless. But dark spots resulting from sun exposure generally augment chances of skin cancer.


It is a form of hyper-pigmentation, which results because of hormonal imbalance and/or sun exposure. This problem occurs when melanin producing cells become more active. Melasma is a problem that women and people of color face more due to the reason that melanin cells tend to be more active in these people. Melasma gets triggered due to hormonal changes, as such, birth control pills and pregnancy can activate melanin cells. This type of hyperpigmentation is commonly noticed on parts of the face such as cheeks, nose, and eyes. In addition, other areas of the body with sunlight exposure, such as, ears and shoulders experience melasma.

How to prevent melasma and dark spots?

The simplest method of preventing skin issues such as dark spots and melasma is to utilize SPF products at locations of the body where sun exposure is expected. This would help in blocking harmful Ultra Violet (UV) rays from entering the skin, which in turn results in dark spots. In case, any dark spots are noticed on the skin then speaking to a dermatologist would be the right thing to do so that the skin issue can be properly identified and diagnosed.

How to treat melasma and dark spots?

Oftentimes, such spots automatically fade away over time. However, if such a thing does not happen then OTC (Over The Counter) products that have kojic acid, azelaic acid, corticosteroids, tretinoin, hydroquinone, and similar other ingredients can be used for treating dark spots and melasma.

In addition, there are different cosmetic procedures such as IPL, laser treatment, dermabrasion, micro-dermabrasion, and chemical peels, which prove to be helpful in reducing appearance of melasma and hyper-pigmentation.

As we can see dark spots and melasma are quite similar skin issues. However, it is necessary to diagnose them and follow proper treatment procedures. Moreover, simple techniques, like using an SPF product can be used for preventing appearance of these dark spots.

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