[noun] A dark spot or pigment spot is an alteration of the skin’s usual colour. It can be hypopigmented (lighter) or hyperpigmented (brown). Several factors can cause these spots to appear.

Most often it is exposure to UV rays coupled with an additional factor. The colour of the skin is the result of the association of several pigments (melanins) produced by cells called melanocytes. During exposure to UV rays, melanocytes increase their production of melanin, leading to a change in the skin’s pigmentation: tanning. This plays a natural protective role against the sun. During prolonged exposure, overproduction of melanin can lead to dysregulation and the appearance of visible spots on the surface of the epidermis.

Furthermore, skin ageing slows the natural renewal of the epidermis, meaning the melanin-containing cells remain on its surface, which can contribute to the appearance of spots.

Hormonal shifts linked to pregnancy can also play a role in the appearance of pigmented facial flaws.

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