Pigment spots on the face


Brown discoloration of the skin caused by the activation of melanocytes is referred to as pigment spots (hyperpigmentation). This activation takes place primarily through the UV radiation contained in sunlight. For this reason, pigment spots on the face are very often found on the shoulders, hands, cleavage and especially on the face. Pigment spots can appear in the form of freckles (Ephekiden) or age spots (Lentigo solaris) and take on various shades of brown, reddish or ocher. The café-au-lait spot (nevus pigmentosus), which owes its name to the light to dark brown, very even pigmentation, is a very common special form of pigmentation disorders. However, it is not only found specifically in the facial area.

Also read more on the topic : Pigment spots

Cause of pigment spots on the face

Our skin is home to a multitude different cells, this also includes the melanocytes. Under the influence of UV radiation, these produce the skin pigment Melanin and give it to the surrounding area horn-forming skin cells (Keratocytes) from. Melanin is important because it protects the skin and underlying tissues from harmful UV radiation. This creates the typical summer tan in summer.

However, it can happen that melanocytes produce a lot of melanin in some places, so that pigment spots appear on the face. This can have different causes. In addition to a genetic predisposition or a particularly frequent or excessive exposure to UV radiation (especially the face is particularly badly affected) play mainly hormonal processes how Pregnancies or the Menopause plays an important role in women. But also the pill (a hormone preparation) can promote the development of pigment spots. (See: Pigment disorder caused by the pill) After pregnancy or after the body hormone fluctuations during menopause or taking pills used the pigment spots on the face can return disappear.

A number of diseases can also be the cause of the pigment disorders. These include skin diseases like the Herpes zoster (a secondary infection with the chickenpox virus) psoriasis, acne and various metabolic disorders. Also a very rare one in our society Deficiency in folic acid and vitamin B12 can cause pigment disorders.

Finally, pigment spots can also be due to certain Medication occur, which increase the skin's sensitivity to light, so that the melanocytes are stimulated to produce more melanin. Are especially worth mentioning here Antibiotics from the tetracycline group and Gyrase inhibitors, as well as Chemotherapy drugs and St. John's wort Preparations.

Pigment spots after pregnancy

With many pregnant women darken temporarily die during pregnancy Nipples and the typical brown line from the navel to the pubic bone (Linea nigra) forms. Likewise, it can also be too sharp, irregularly delimited Pigment spots on the face come. This as Pregnancy mask (Chloasmapigment spots marked) are caused by hormonal fluctuations. They are mainly found on forehead, Temples, Cheeks and chin and are often very symmetrical. Since the pregnancy mask is mostly used after pregnancy regresses by itself, bleaching agents or any other treatment of the pigment spots are initially not recommended. Instead you can cosmetics can be used if the pigment spots are very annoying.In order to at least partially prevent pregnancy masks, it is advisable to Sunscreen to use and not to expose to intense solar radiation

Also read more on the topic: Skin diseases during pregnancy

Removal of pigment spots

The vast majority of pigment disorders, whether on the face or in other parts of the body, are completely harmless and represent at most a cosmetic problem. For this reason, the pigment spots only rarely need to be removed. However, if you decide to treat the pigment spots, there are various methods to choose from.

Very effective is the Laser treatment, in which accumulations of pigment are shattered by the bundled energy of the laser and the remains are then broken down by white blood cells. Another option is that Cold therapy (Cryopeeling) with liquid nitrogen or one Treatment with acids. These ensure that the upper layers of the skin die off so that they can be removed together with the melanin it contains. However, the sensitive skin tends to form new pigment spots in the subsequent period and should be protected from direct sunlight. Application is also a widespread form of treatment for pigment spots whitening creams based on Rucinol, Hydroquinone or Kojic acidwhich, however, are potentially hazardous to health and often do not show sufficient effect.

In addition to cosmetic aspects, a degeneration of the pigment spots can also be a reason to have them removed. Anomalies are usually difficult to recognize for the layperson. Nevertheless, it is advisable to keep an eye on pigment disorders and, above all, to pay attention to changes in the pigment spots. An important warning is, above all, a blurred border of a stain.

If a pigment spot has been removed from the face, it can still reappear. Other pigment spots can also develop on other parts of the body if adequate prevention is not taken. Once melanocytes are stimulated to produce excessive melanin, it may take some time for their activity to decrease again.

Cream against dark spots on the face

Before a Remove the pigment spots with laser or lightening with cold or acid treatment can be considered first to simpler means like Creams be grasped. Many, especially prescription-only, creams are based on the effects of the creams they contain Bleach. This interrupt the Formation of melanin in the melanocytes. A very common bleach is among others Hydroquinone. However, since this is suspected of being carcinogenic (carcinogenic), creams containing hydroquinone should only be used for a maximum of 3 months be applied. Other common bleaches are Rucinol and Kojic acid.

A treatment with creams containing bleach is usually only successful after about two months; light pigment spots can be significantly lightened after about four weeks. During use for such a long period of time it can become too Skin irritation come. In order to prevent such undesirable side effects when using creams containing bleach, a doctor should always be consulted before using them.

Usually bleaching creams are used in the mornings and the evenings used; In addition, there should be enough in the morning suncream as bleaching cream makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight. It should also be noted that bleaching creams should only be applied selectively.

You can find more information on this topic on our website: Bleach for the skin

Degeneration of pigment spots

In the vast majority of cases, pigment spots on the face represent harmless pigmentation disorders. In some cases, however, they can also be the expression of a malignant process or degenerate over time. It is often difficult for laypeople to judge whether this is the case, which is why people with many pigment spots in particular should take advantage of regular check-ups with a dermatologist. Nevertheless, you should also keep an eye on your skin yourself and check it for noticeable pigment spots from time to time. The ABCD rule:

  • A. (asymmetry): Melanomas are often characterized by a, especially in the early stages irregular contour out.
  • B. (Limitation): this is one of the most important abnormalities. The transition between melanoma and healthy, normally pigmented skin is often fluently or jagged.
  • C. (Color): also a eye-catching shade can be indicative of a degeneration of pigment spots. Melanomas often exhibit a very dark, black to bluish or grey colour on.
  • D. (Diameter): Pigment spots with a diameter of more than two millimeters, require special attention and should be clarified in more detail in case of doubt.

Are also noticeable times, Which blossoms, itch or yourself change in shape and size. In case of doubt, one should not be afraid to seek medical advice.


Since pigment disorders in the face are very often genetic or hormonal, it is not always possible to prevent them. However, if there is a possibility that taking the pill is the cause of the pigment spots, switching to non-hormonal contraceptive methods can lead to an improvement or even to the disappearance of the pigment spots. In very rare cases, the Ingestion from Vitamin B12 and Folic acid help to prevent pigment spots. However, the most important preventive measure remains Use of sunscreens or other sun protection. Not only on vacation, but also in everyday life, it should be ensured that the skin is not exposed to strong sunlight for too long. This not only prevents the formation of pigment spots, but also other skin diseases and, above all, skin cancer.