Dark spots may be removed from the skin via the use of chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser light treatment or various topical applications. There are also many home remedies for lightening dark spots, but the most effective treatments are provided through a medical professional.
Dark spots can appear on the skin due to post-inflammatory pigmentation from injuries or acne, and also from too much UV exposure that can damage the skin. Treatments to lighten and shrink dark spots involve lifting away the skin's surface cells or bleaching with special creams.
Considered one of the best treatment options for dark spots, hydroquinone is a lightening agent applied directly to the spots. It works by blocking the production of melanin, but may take up to six months to work.
Retinoid creams are used for both the treatment of acne and dark spots. The creams can cause redness and skin irritation and may take up to 10 months to completely fade dark spots.
There are chemical peels that can be used at home or a doctor may apply an in-office peel to the skin. Peels containing glycolic and salicylic acid remove several of the surface layers of skin, taking away the dark pigmentation with it.
Doctors may recommend microdermabrasion for those who have sensitive skin. The procedure uses fine crystals to blast away the top layers of skin cells and the dark pigmentation with it. Microdermabrasion is less harsh on the skin.