Dark spots on your skin usually are the accumulation of dark pigment just underneath your skin. These can appear for several reasons and can develop anytime from birth to old age. However, the reasons for the development of dark spots can vary. Identifying these skin discolorations and understanding how they develop can help you determine whether a trip to the doctor or dermatologist is necessary.
Blood Vessel Deformities
Many newborn babies have a discolored, dark spot on their skin. These common birthmarks can sometimes occur for reasons doctors and dermatologists do not yet understand, but one of the reasons they do develop is due to blood vessel deformities located under the skin where the spots appear, according to Discovery Health. These can develop within the first month of development. Some will go away over time while others will stay, but all marks of this kind are harmless.
- Many newborn babies have a discolored, dark spot on their skin.
- These common birthmarks can sometimes occur for reasons doctors and dermatologists do not yet understand, but one of the reasons they do develop is due to blood vessel deformities located under the skin where the spots appear, according to Discovery Health.
What Kinds of Growths Form on Aging Skin?
Moles are another common skin development that many consider birthmarks, even though they can change size and shape over time. Moles tend to be brown or black and either flat on the skin or raised 1. They are darker than a normal skin discoloration and develop with melanin--the pigment of your skin--coagulates. Moles sometimes can indicate possible cancer in the skin, particularly if there is a change in color, but they also can be removed easily with a laser.
- Moles are another common skin development that many consider birthmarks, even though they can change size and shape over time.
Sunlight can produce dark spots on the skin in a couple of different ways. The most common of these is age spots--sometimes called liver spots--which develop when sun exposure damages the pigment-producing melanocytes in your skin and causes a spike in production, according to Discovery Health. Sunbathing or exposure to sunlight also can stain your skin when pregnant or taking medications that imbalance your hormones and cause unstable and uneven melanin production at various spots on your skin--the sunlight activates the melanin in these locations, darkening the skin.
What Kinds of Growths Form on Aging Skin?
Skin Discoloration on the Forehead
Facts About Red Moles
Age Spots and Moles
A Blister-Like Growth Near My Fingernails
Brown Spots on the Eye
Examples of Harmless Skin Moles
Vitamin E for Skin Discoloration
Actinic Keratosis Vs. Seborrheic Keratosis
Rashlike Pigmentation on the Foot
- Health Central: How Do I Get Rid of the Brown Spots on My Face?
- Total Dermatology: Brown Spots and Age Spots
- Vashi NA, de Castro Maymone MB, Kundu RV. Aging differences in ethnic skin. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2016;9(1):31-38.
- American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Hyperpigmentation.
- Bandyopadhyay D. Topical treatment of melasma. Indian J Dermatol. 2009;54(4):303-309. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.57602
- Kang SJ, Choi BR, Lee EK, et al. Inhibitory effect of dried pomegranate concentration powder on melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells; involvement of p38 and PKA signaling pathways. Int J Mol Sci. 2015;16(10):24219-42. doi:10.3390/ijms161024219
- Parveen R, Akhtar N, Mahmood T. Topical microemulsion containing Punica granatum extract: its control over skin erythema and melanin in healthy Asian subjects. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2014;31(6):351-5. doi:10.5114/pdia.2014.47117
- Kim E, Hwang K, Lee J, et al. Skin protective effect of epigallocatechin gallate. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(1). doi:10.3390/ijms19010173
- Kim YC, Choi SY, Park EY. Anti-melanogenic effects of black, green, and white tea extracts on immortalized melanocytes. J Vet Sci. 2015;16(2):135-43. doi:10.4142/jvs.2015.16.2.135
- Zhou BR, Ma LW, Liu J, et al. Corrigendum to "protective effects of soy oligopeptides in ultraviolet B-induced acute photodamage of human skin". Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018;2018:3871280. doi:10.1155/2016/5846865
- Adhikari D, Panthi VK, Pangeni R, Kim HJ, Park JW. Preparation, characterization, and biological activities of topical anti-aging ingredients in a Citrus junos callus extract. Molecules. 2017;22(12). doi:10.3390/molecules22122198
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.