How to Remove Dark Spots: Natural Home Remedies

Dark spots are usually produced as a result of over production of skin pigments or melanin. When your skin is exposed to the sun for a long period of time, it increases the production of cells known as “melanocytes” this results in the increase in melanin in the skin. This, in turn, makes the skin darker. These darks patches in the skin are called age spots, dark spots, liver spots, or sun spots.

Dark spots usually appear on exposed areas of the skin like the face, neck, shoulders, back, hands, and chest. The major causes of these spots are sun exposure, genetics, and aging. However, sometimes stress, vitamin deficiencies, pregnancy, and weak liver functioning also contribute to this problem.

What Causes Dark Spots

Dark spots results due to the overproduction of melanin, or skin pigments. The major causes of these spots are sun exposure, genetics, and aging. Even artificial UV light, like tanning beds, causes dark spots.

They can appear anywhere but are most likely to appear on those parts of the body that are exposed to the sun the most. The following are some body parts that are most likely to get dark spots:

  • The face
  • The backs of the hands
  • The shoulders
  • The arms
  • The back

Skin Diseases

There are several skin conditions and diseases that can result in dark spots.

  • Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
  • Melasma
  • Riehl’s Melanosis
  • Poikiloderma of Civatte
  • Erythromelanosis Follicularis
  • Linea Nigra


There are certain medications that result in dark spots. Some medications make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure and some may result in dark spots even without sun exposure.

Some of them are:

  • Estrogens
  • Tetracyclines
  • Amiodarone
  • Phenytoin
  • Phenothiazines
  • Sulfonamides

UV Exposure

UV rays are fatal to your skin. They cause various skin issues ranging from fatal skin cancers to minor dark spots. Pigmentation on your skin starts to show during your middle age. It is a way of your skin to show the consequences of sun exposure without SPF. Sun exposure has major risk factors and you need to implement certain precautions to save yourself from the fatalities. Preventing long exposure to sunlight and using SPF on a daily basis could be a start for protecting your skin against UV rays.

Dark spots that are caused by UV rays are:

  • Melasma
  • Solar lentigines (liver spots)
  • Ephelides (freckles)

Other Causes of Dark Spots

  • Pregnancy
  • Liver disease
  • Addison’s disease
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Pituitary tumors

How to Treat Dark Spots

Dark spots are not fatal health wise. They are painless and have the same texture as the rest of your skin. However, in rare cases, there are possibilities of your dark spots being cancerous. To make sure you’re on the safer side, visit your dermatologist on a regular basis and get your skin tested. If they see a particularly dubious spot or pigmentation, they can perform a biopsy test to make sure.

Usually, dark spots are harmless and do not have any health risks. So, it’s not necessary to get rid of but if you are bothered by them, you can choose to take up procedures to get rid of the spots. Dark spots can be reduced or removed completely through prescribed medications, natural treatments, and medical procedures.

If you are interested in the medical procedure, you should consult your dermatologist regarding which procedure will suit your skin type the best. Medical procedures can be used to treat the dark spots on any part of your body. The medical procedures include:

  • Laser treatment
  • Chemical Peels
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Cryosurgery

Natural Treatments

1. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains bleaching properties. Due to this, it can be a great measure to help you get rid of the annoying brown spots. In addition, it also helps to maintain clear, soft, and beautiful skin. Apply fresh lemon juice directly in the affected area and leave it be for around 30 minutes before rinsing it off with water. In case you have sensitive skin, dilute the lemon juice by adding water, rose water or honey. Repeat this process daily for a month or so and you can see positive results.

2. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is composed of lactic acid. Lactic acid is said to exfoliate the skin and thus, remove the brown spots and blemishes. The best part of using buttermilk is that it helps you get rid of dark spots withou drying your skin.

  • Take some buttermilk in a bowl and with the help of a cotton ball, apply it on the affected area. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it off with water. In case your skin is oily and acne prone, add some lemon juice in the buttermilk before application.
  • You can even mix some tomato juice in the buttermilk and apply the mixture to the affected area.

You can use any of the two methods. For effective results, use one of these twice a day daily until you get satisfactory results.

3. Castor Oil

Castor oil is used in getting rid of many skin problems like moles, stretch marks, fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and pimples. It can also be used to get rid of dark spots.

Apply castor oil to the areas with dark spots and massage it in a circular motion for five to ten minutes. Let the oil stay for about an hour or so and then, wash it off. You can use castor oil along with vitamin E oil or coconut oil as well. For visible results, use this method twice daily.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is usually effective in treating many kinds of skin issues including brown spots. ACV helps to dry out and fade the dark spots faster.

  • Mix equal amount of water and ACV, add some honey in it. Apply the mixture on your dark spots keep it on for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly. Repeat this process daily for positive results. You can even use ACV directly as well; however, it may leave a stinging sensation on your skin.
  • A second option could be making a mixture of two tablespoons of orange juice with half a spoon of ACV. Apply this mixture to the brown spots and let it dry. Do not wash it before it is completely dry. You can repeat this twice daily for four to five weeks for effective results.

5. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a boon to skin treatments. It has been proven effective for treating many skin issues. The healing and soothing properties in aloe vera can be used in skin regeneration. So, it is effective in treating brown spots.

  • Directly apply fresh aloe vera gel on the dark spots. Leave it on for about half an hour. After then rinse with cold water. Repeat it twice daily for a month to notice improvements.
  • If you don’t have fresh aloe, you can always opt for aloe vera juice. It’s readily available in the market.

6. Horseradish

Horseradish is rich in skin lightening properties. Due to this, it helps to remove freckles and dark spots on your skin.

  • Make a paste by using horseradish and water. Apply it directly to the affected area and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before you wash it off. You can repeat this for a few times a day.

7. Papaya

Papaya has certain enzymes and acids that help to exfoliate your skin and clearing out age spots and dark spots. It makes your skin clearer and brighter.

Grate fresh papaya and apply it on the dark spots. Leave it be for about 20 minutes and then wash it off with warm water. Repeat it daily until you see visible results.

In case you are allergic to papaya, you should try other alternatives. To check if papaya is an allergen for you, you can take a 24-hour patch test.

8. Yogurt

Yoghurt has bleaching properties. You can use it to bring a glow in your face with minimal efforts and can also use it to reduce dark spots.

  • Apply yoghurt directly on the skin and leave it for 20 minutes. After that, wash it with cold water. If you want faster results, apply it on the spots and leave it overnight. Repeat it daily.

You should be patient when it comes to home remedies. They are slow in effect. But since there are no side effects, they are the best way to get rid of the dark spots.

Medical procedures are expensive and may have harmful side effects. So it is better to stick with natural home remedies.

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