Most of us must have been annoyed by those dark patches on our neck, hands, and elbows. We become self-conscious and attempt to hide it as much as possible. After all, beauty is about looking good on the outside and feeling great from within.
Our skin produces a pigment called melanin that gives it color. Dark patches on the neck, elbows, and knees develop due to the overproduction of melanin in those areas of our skin. These patches or spots can also be due to UV damage, pollution, chemicals, while healing of a wound or injury, or due to hormonal changes.
Usually, when we spot a patch or pigmentation, we rush to apply a spot removal cream or scrub it vigorously without analyzing why it occurred. In this post, we will try to figure out what’s causing the problem, the possible remedies, and the ways to prevent the problem.
So, read on folks!!
Why do most of us suffer from dark patches on our skin??
Dark patches can affect anyone, although they are more common among dark-skinned persons since their skin contain more melanin. Most of us tend to get dark spots and patches because something triggers our skin to produce extra melanin.
Some of the triggers and other common causes are as follows-:
- Excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays triggers the over-production of melanin in our skin.
- A skin condition called Acanthosis nigricans can cause the neck skin to thicken and darken, making it look unsightly. It is more common in those who are underweight, have darker skin, and have diabetic or prediabetic conditions. The most frequent trigger for acanthosis nigricans is excess insulin in our bloodstream.
- Lack of exfoliation can cause dead skin to pile up on the knees causing thickness and discoloration.
- When acne heals, it leaves behind a spot or scar that happens due to Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH). It can also be the after-effect of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, etc.
- When a wound or injury heals, it can leave dark spots or scars that later become brown or grey patches.
- When harsh chemicals in a skin or hair care product irritate the skin leading to an allergic reaction.
- During hormonal changes, like pregnancy, puberty, childbirth, etc., a skin condition called melasma can cause dark patches on the skin.
- After-effects of certain medications.
- Improper Hygiene.
Any of the above-stated factors can cause dark patches on the neck, elbows, or knees. It is important that one figures out the root cause and take steps to alleviate it.
How can we prevent it?
- Avoid direct exposure to UV rays at all costs
Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen while going out during daytime is a must. Apply a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 and higher and has Zinc or Titanium oxide. Don’t just apply it on your face but on your neck as well.
2. Stay away from harsh, chemical-laden skincare. Wash your skin gently.
Allergies and skin darkening can be caused by chemical-laden soaps, cosmetics, and skincare products. Use a mild cleanser and a dark spot removal cream with natural ingredients to restore even skin tone.
3. If you are overweight, losing weight will help you treat Acanthosis Nigricans.
Eating a healthy diet and getting regular physical activity can help lower insulin levels and improve skin appearance.
4. Keep your neck, knees, and elbows clean and exfoliated to prevent any pileup of dead cells.
5. Get your injuries treated properly and in time, and do not scratch wounds to avoid scarring.
6. Practice proper hygiene
7. Home Remedies
Applying any of the following home methods to lighten dark spots:
- Aloe vera
- Citrus extracts
These natural remedies work on some people, but their effectiveness is hardly proven through science.
That wraps up my guide. I hope this helps you in the right direction!
I’m a passionate health coach and member of a community known as Biomarked. We aim to educate and empower people about lifestyle issues like Diabetes Type 2, PCOS, Thyroid, Fatty Liver, etc. If you are on Instagram, I have been sharing regular health nuggets and several success stories of my friends and families I have been able to help.
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