Dark spots may occur on your skin for a variety of reasons, including certain health conditions, as well as due to aging. Chances are that the spots are more an issue of appearance, rather than causing any harm. If you have dark spots, you likely want to mask them and hydrocortisone cream is one way to do that. However, just as with any medication, topical or otherwise, it’s best to talk over its use with a doctor before getting started. Here’s what you need to know.
Why You Get Dark Spots
There are some health conditions that lead to dark spots on your skin, but usually, they develop as you age. This is due to several factors, including environmental damage, such as that from the sun. Another factor that can cause dark spots is hormonal fluctuations, such as the estrogen ups and down that women experience during the month. Dark spots tend to develop with age because the things that influence them build up over time. Fortunately, there are some ways to fight these spots, and hydrocortisone is one of them.
Hydrocortisone for Dark Spots
Hydrocortisone is not an approved treatment for dark spots and, in fact, may not make any difference at all to their appearance. That’s because hydrocortisone is used to treat redness, swelling and inflammation, all of which are symptoms that don’t appear with age spots. It won’t fade the spots, get rid of them, or prevent them from occurring. While hydrocortisone is incredibly effective for other skin conditions, it probably won’t make much of a difference with age spots.
Alternative Treatment Options
While hydrocortisone may not work for your dark spots, the good news is that there are other options out there that can lighten them. Many of them are topical treatments that require a prescription so you’ll need to discuss their use with your doctor before getting started. The choices include 2 percent hydroquinone, glycolic acid, kojic acid, azelaic acid, retinoids and vitamin C. There are some over the counter skin lightening products, but you should practice caution when using them as they can do more harm than good when used improperly. Likewise, you should never use bleach directly on your skin or in your body as a way to lighten dark spots.
Preventing Dark Spots
Not only will a good prevention routine help prevent dark spots, but it can also help increase the effectiveness of the lightening treatment you choose. The best way to protect against the development of dark spots is to wear sunscreen every single day on any exposed skin and reapply it every couple of hours as long as you plan to be outdoors. You should also wear a hat when you’re outside and stay in the shade as much as possible. A lightning product should never be a replacement for sun safety measures. Keep in mind that some dark spots may actually be something more dangerous, such as skin cancer so work closely with your doctor if you have any dark spots that concern you.