Black Spots on Back: Causes, Removal & Prevention

Black spots on back occur when some areas on an individual skin produce more melanin than usual. Melanin is a pigment behind the color of the eye, skin, and hair.

You should not get worried when you notice some dark spots on your back since they do not need any form of treatment.

However, removal demand comes in due to cosmetic desires. Many people refer to these spots on the skin as age spots or sunspots depending on the cause.

 Evelyn Attia, M.D, will walk you through the causes of the spots on the back and how they can be removed by use of dermatological treatments and home remedies.

black spots on back

Symptoms of Dark Spots on Back

The general color of these spots varies according to personal skin tone. The color of these spots on skin ranges between light brown to dark brown.

The good thing with these spots is that they do not change the texture of your skin, and they are painless. Hence, it is not a cause of concern.

These dots on skin mainly occur in areas exposed to the sun over a long period and the, back is one of them.

The deeper coloration of these dots on the back can take several years before they fade away, and they tend to be darker than your skin tone.

Causes of Black Spots on Back

Several factors are known to be behind these black marks on back. Let’s find out from the following:

Diabetes

This is a disease where the level of blood sugar is higher than usual, and it is also marked by dark patches on the skin on some parts of the body like back or shoulders.

Acanthosis nigricans is a condition known to be associated with diabetes, and its result in the formation of dark skin blemishes that people tend to confuse them with age spots.

Skin Irritation

There are plenty of skin care products in the market. Some of these products tend to contain certain elements that can cause skin irritation.

Extreme skin irritation due to these elements in the skincare or hair products can trigger the development of dark dots on your back.

Excessive exposure to UV Rays

The dark spots on the back after exposure to sunlight during tanning are also known as sunspots, liver spots, or solar lentigines.

Excessive exposure to the UV rays can also result in the formation of melanoma spots, which are the type of cancer though very rare.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal imbalance is quite common in pregnant women, and this causes the occurrence of melasma. This is a skin condition that results in tiny dark patches on the skin.

Side Effects of Certain Medication

Some of the conventional medicines that cause increased skin pigmentation, which later triggers the development of dark spots are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, psychotropic, and tetracyclines drugs.

Skin Inflammation

This is a skin condition that is triggered by injury on skin, eczema, and psoriasis and skin acne. The inflammation and itching later result in the development of dark spots on the surface.

Wound Healing

Mosquito bites, skin burns, and cuts can heal then result in the formation of black dots on the back of the skin. However, these black dots tend to fade away after some time.

How to Remove Black Spots on Back

The dark spots do not cause concern hence no need for seeking treatment, but due to cosmetic desires, many people prefer to get rid of them.

There are several dark spot remover methods, but it is advisable to consult your dermatologist first. They will examine the spots and recommend a suitable procedure.

Removal of black spots on the skin using surgical procedures is quite expensive as compared to the application of dark spot removal creams.

Here are some of the possible dark spot removal procedures recommended by dermatologist across the world:

Laser Treatment

The laser equipment uses pulse light that helps to disintegrate the dark spots cells selectively. The light also helps to stimulate the production of collagen on the skin to enhance faster healing. It is considered to be one of the practical procedure of eliminating dark skin blemishes.

Microdermabrasion

This is a procedure where the dermatologist will use a unique instrument to remove the outer skin layer linked to the dark spots.

The treatment is quite useful for reducing deeper dark spots on the skin since it can penetrate deeper into the skin. However, the entire procedure is painless.

Chemical Peels

There are several chemical peels for getting rid of black dots on the skin. These peels are known to contain alpha and beta hydroxy acids which are derived from natural sources.

These components are effective in treating dark dots on the skin without causing any further damage to the surface. The peeling promotes new skin growth hence eliminating black spots.

Cryotherapy

The procedure involves the application of nitrogen to the black skin blemishes, which help to freezes them out. The process injures the skin, but it tends to heal lighter after some days.

Prescription Skin-Lightening Cream

These prescriptions work by lightening the skin. The procedure usually takes some months for the result to start showing up.

The creams tend to contain Hydroquinone, which is an element that prevents the skin from producing more melanin than usual.

Home Remedies for Dark Spots on Back

In addition to dermatological treatment options, you can also use home remedies to get rid of black spots on back skin overnight.

These home-based remedies include:

Castor Oil

Castor oil is a natural cleanser, thus help to clean the skin pores and skin conditions. It has antioxidant properties that repair damaged skin as well as rejuvenate it. Also, it can the lighten dark spots on the back.

Lemon Juice

The juice has some bleaching properties that help to lighten up black dots and remove skin tans. The acid property is the reason behind the ability to lighten dark spots.

Honey

It has antimicrobial properties hence can treat acne spots on the back. It also has an antioxidant property to get rid of spots that occur as a result of excessive exposure to the UV rays.

Cucumber Juice and Lemon Mix

The combination of these juice gives the solution a great punch when it comes to the elimination of dark spots on the skin.

The bleaching property of lemon help to get rid of the spots while the soothing and hydrating property of the cucumber makes the skin supple and glowing.

Vitamin E Capsules

These supplements are quite effective in reducing dark spots and patches on the skin. They inhibit the enzymes responsible for the dark pigmentation on the surface. It is also a humectant and keeps your skin hydrated.

How Do Dark Spots on Back Diagnose?

Black spots on skin can only be examined by dermatology to find out the exact cause by asking about your medical history.

The doctor will physically examine the skin blemishes by the use of specialized equipment to have a great view of the spots.

Unclear cause of the black dots will require further testing to make sure it is not the skin cancer that is behind the eruptions of these tiny black dots on the skin.

Tips of Preventing Black Spots on Back

It is quite challenging to prevent the occurrence of black marks on the skin. Spots caused by hormonal changes are entirely beyond our control.

Here are a few crucial tips that will help to prevent the occurrence of skin blemishes on the back. They include:

  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 daily
  • Wear clothes that cover your back while outside the house
  • Treat any skin condition causing inflammation
  • Avoid sun around 10 am to 4 pm since it is too strong. 

When to See a Doctor

Black spots on the back are not harmful, but it can be quite tricky to tell the difference between dark spots and other skin changes like melanoma spots.

If you happen to be unsure about the dark spot, then it is advisable to consult your dermatologist.

Seek medical help if the spots itches, tingles, bleeds, change in size, and color. These type of spots that behavior in that manner tends to be skin cancer, and they need early treatment.

Sources and References

  1. Apra Sood, MD. “Pigmentary Disorders.” Cleveland Clinic
  2. Dr. Nancy C. Lee. “6 Tips for Healthy Aging.” Women Health

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