What Causes Dark Skin Patches?

HK Vitals

Dark patches on skin, also known as hyperpigmentation, are areas of the skin that appear darker than the surrounding skin due to an excess of melanin — the pigment responsible for skin color. These dark dry patches on skin can be caused by various factors, but the good news is that there may be effective treatments available to reduce the pigmentation and even out the skin tone. Read on to understand what these patches indicate and how to treat dark skin patches.

What do Dark Skin Patches on Face Indicate?

Patchy pigmented skin always indicates certain underlying health concerns that are the actual causes of dark patches on skin:

  • Hyperpigmentation

Dark skin patches on face often occur due to an overproduction of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color. Conditions like melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (after acne, injury, cuts), and sun damage can lead to localized areas of increased pigmentation.

  • Sun Exposure

Prolonged sun exposure without proper protection can cause dark patches on skin, particularly on the face and back. UV radiation triggers melanin production, leading to sunspots or solar lentigines.

  • Hormonal Changes

Fluctuations in hormone levels, such as during pregnancy or hormonal therapies, can result in dark patches known as melasma. These patches commonly appear on the face, especially the cheeks, forehead, and upper lip.

  • Fungal Infections

Certain fungal infections, like tinea versicolor, can cause discolored patches on the skin. These patches are often more noticeable on the back and other areas with increased moisture and sweat.

Treatment Options for Dark Skin Patches

Here are some ways of how to treat dark skin patches:

  • Topical Treatments

Over-the-counter creams or prescribed medications containing ingredients like hydroquinone, retinoids, kojic acid, or azelaic acid can help reduce dark skin patches on face. These ingredients work by inhibiting melanin production and promoting skin cell turnover.

  • Chemical Peels

Chemical peels involve the application of a chemical solution to exfoliate the outer layer of the skin, reducing pigmentation irregularities. This procedure can be performed by a dermatologist and may require multiple sessions for optimal results.

  • Laser Therapy

Laser treatments, such as intense pulsed light (IPL) or fractional laser therapy, can target dark patches on skin, promoting skin rejuvenation and reducing pigmentation. Multiple sessions may be necessary, and these procedures should be performed by a qualified professional.

  • Sun Protection

Preventing further darkening of the patches is crucial. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily, wear protective clothing, and limit sun exposure, especially during peak hours.

Home Remedies for Dark Skin Patches

Natural remedies may help lighten dark skin patches. However, individual results may vary, and it’s essential to perform a patch test and consult a dermatologist before trying these remedies.

  • Lemon Juice

The natural bleaching properties of lemon juice can help lighten dark patches on skin. Apply fresh lemon juice to the affected areas and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing off.

  • Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera has soothing properties that can reduce hyperpigmentation. Apply fresh aloe vera gel to the dark patches and leave it on overnight for best results.

  • Potato Slices

Rubbing potato slices on dark patches can help lighten the skin due to its natural enzymes. Leave the potato juice on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.

  • Turmeric Paste

Turmeric mixed with milk or water forms a paste that can be applied to the patches for its anti-inflammatory and skin-lightening effects.


Dark dry patches on skin on the face and back can indicate various underlying causes, including hyperpigmentation, sun exposure, hormonal changes, or fungal infections. Treating dark skin patches on back often involves a combination of topical treatments, professional procedures like chemical peels or laser therapy, and consistent sun protection. Consultation with a dermatologist is recommended to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific condition.

HK Vitals


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