Pigment spots

Pigment spots are usually a harmless skin condition in which patches of skin are darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. Pigmented spots are caused in the skin by overproduction of a pigment known as melanin. Pigmented spots are caused in the skin by overproduction of a pigment known as melanin.

On this page you will find the following information about pigment spots:

  • What are pigment spots?
  • Causes of pigment spots?
  • What are the differences between birthmarks, freckles and liver spots
  • How do you remove pigment spots?
  • Tips when you have pigmentation spots
  • The best products to reduce pigmentation spots

Written by Francis Wu

Published 14 August 2022

Edited 28 September 2022

Dr. Francis Wu on pigment spots

Below, Dr. Francis Wu briefly explains the symptoms, causes, and solutions for unwanted spots.

Tips when you have pigmentation spots

Below are tips from Dr. Francis Wu – dermatologist

Tip: stain prevention

Look closely at your skin. If you suffer from an underlying skin condition, you should treat it as best as possible to prevent new pigment spots.

Do you have a wound or healing spot? Then protect it well with sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Mineral sunscreen with titanium dioxide AND zinc oxide works immediately and gives your skin the least irritation.

Let wounds heal properly and stay away from that scab. We all know how tempting it is to scratch it off, but try to touch it as little as possible. If you really don’t succeed, you can safely cover the spots with a plaster.

Try to scratch as little as possible with itchy skin conditions.

Tip: Cleanse your face twice a day

There is a relationship between air pollution and pigmentation.

A German study showed that people from the Ruhr area (Randstad), who were exposed to a lot of nitrogen dioxide, suffered more from pigment spots than people from the countryside (Borken area). These discolorations were particularly visible on the cheeks. It also turned out that the subjects who were exposed to more (10 µg/m3) nitrogen dioxide had significantly more lentigines. No less than 20% to even 35% more pigment spots were visible with them.

Regularly cleansing your skin can reduce unwanted pigmentation.

Tip: Sunscreen

Mineral sunscreen filters are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These two combinations ensure optimal and broad UV coverage. The two filters give the least chance of skin reaction, are not absorbed by the skin, and provide immediate protection after application.


Zinc oxide protects mainly UVA rays and less UVB. Titanium dioxide mainly has a UVB protection and less against UVA rays.

Look for combination of both mineral filters.

Aziatische Huid Zonbescherming Huidkanker Ak Zonnebrandolie Op De Rug
Pigmentvlekken En Supplementen

Tip: Supplement Glutathione

Glutathione is thought to inhibit pigment on several mechanisms. It inhibits the production of pigment in the melanocytes (pigment cells), and the strong antioxidant effect of glutathione also has an inhibiting effect on pigment production.

In a 2012 randomized placebo-controlled study of 60 volunteers, the volunteers received orally administered glutathione at a dose of 500 mg per day for 4 weeks. It led to a lighter skin color of the face and forearms. In itself, glutathione as a supplement is safe, but the longer-term effects require more research.

When it comes to nutrition, fruits, vegetables and meat are sources of natural glutathione.

Tip: Supplement 2 - Polypodium leucotomos extract (PLE) - Melasma

PLE is a fern extract and belongs to the Polypodiaceae family. It has antioxidant and immunoprotective effects. In a double-blind randomized study with placebo, 40 people with melasma were divided into 2 groups and followed for 3 months. One group received a placebo, combined with SPF50+ and hydroquinone 4% cream and the other group received PLE extract (2 x a day 480 mg), SPF50+ rubbing and also hydroquinone cream 4%. Conclusion after 3 months: the group with PLE, sun protection and hydroquinone 4% cream is significantly better than a placebo, SPF50 and hydroquinone 4% cream.

The best products to reduce pigmentation spots

Below you will find some products to reduce unwanted stains.

This is what we think is important in a skin care product

Pigment Spots Iconic Elements Icons

What our customers think of our products

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This cream contains high-quality, safe ingredients. The packaging is very hygienic. The cream works perfectly for my sensitive skin. I think it is a top cream that fits in the higher segment in terms of effect. While the cream is still very affordable
SonjavdLely Wonderful day cream!
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This cream is perfect for my aging skin. It lubricates very well and because of the pump you can easily dose it. Great value for money!
Felicia32 Very happy with this skincare line
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Lubricates very nicely and feels good. Didn't know at first that UVA rays are present year-round. Been looking for a brand without microplastics in ingredients for a while.
Lotus72233Lotus Top product
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I have been using Targeted Pigment Serum for two weeks now. The pigment spots have already decreased by 50 0/0. Had a pigment spot on my nose for five years and is gone now. Skin pores have become less coarse and skin even. Product is great. Would recommend this product to anyone.
NathalieLem very satisfied with Iconic Elements
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I am very happy that my skin reacts well to it and that the products do not contain certain ingredients and that it is environmentally friendly!

Frequently asked questions about pigmentation spots

The tan obtained by a self-tanner does not protect against ultraviolet rays from the sun. The brown color only has an SPF value of 1-3. There is a good chance that you will burn your skin due to UV-B radiation. For this you will have to use extra sun protection.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor.

SPF is correlated with UVB rays and not UVA. The higher the SPF value, the more UVB is blocked and UVA rays are passed through. An SPF 30 blocks 97% UVB, SPF50 - 98% and SPF100 - 99% not available in Europe against UVB rays.

SPF does NOT protect against UVA rays

Pigment spots after a skin disorder are often referred to by skin specialists as PIH or also as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. PIH is a dark discoloration of the skin where the skin has been damaged. The PIH is usually similar in shape, size and number to the disease or lesion. Think, for example, of the spots that remain after acne that can be a bit raised, but also flat. The structure of the skin does not always have to change either. PIH is harmless, but can be experienced as cosmetically disturbing.

If you protect yourself well against the sun and if no new skin irritation arises, there is a good chance that it will disappear on its own.

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