Causes and Treatment of Spots on Face

" Finding any spots on face are usually harmless but they can ruin one’s appearance, especially when there are a lot of them. Face spots may be brown, dark brown, black, red or white and they may be due to different causes. Since the face is exposed to many environmental factors like sunlight, pollution, and microorganisms, it is vulnerable to problematic skin changes.Treatment of these common problems depends on the cause, which is often easily diagnosed with the help of a dermatologist." 


There are many possible causes of spots on face. Some of these include:

• Acne, which includes pimples that can leave pink or red-colored spots on the face. Acne is usually caused by usually clogged pores, bacteria and excessive oil. Some cases are mild, butothers can be severe, which may leave acne marks or scars long after pimples have healed.

Acne can cause spots on face, the neck , back and chest when dead skin cells cling to each other and block the pores.
Source: Meisenheimer Clinic

• Post-inflammatory skin changes due to insect bites, chicken pox, trauma, etc.  

red face spot

Red Face Spots Due to the Virus varicella-zoster, otherwise known as chicken pox. Source: Principles of Pediatric Dermatology  
Source: Meisenheimer Clinic

Age spots, which are due to prolonged and repeated exposure to sunlight. Ultraviolet exposure increases the production of melanin, a brown pigment produced in the deeper layers of the skin, which can result in the appearance of spots on face.

age spot

Age Spots (also called lentigo or solar lentigo) are caused by a genetic disposition and sun exposure. It is harmless. Prevention involves the use of sunscreen.
Source: Meisenheimer Clinic

• Tinea versicolor, a fungal infection caused by Pityrosporumovale. This skin infection is a chronic condition that can leave spots on face that are reddish-pink to white in color.
Moles and skin tags usually grow as raised brown spots on face. Moles in particular need to be differentiated from skin cancer or melanoma is they change in appearance.

skin tag spots

Skin Tags (also called acrochordon or fibroepithelial polyp) can cause light brown face spots. They are small pieces of skin and are found on the groin, armpits, neck and armpits. The vast majority of cases are harmless. They can be removed for cosmetic reasons for if they cause discomfort due to friction with clothing. There is a higher incidence in over weight people or where the condition is possibly inherited.
Source: Meisenheimer Clinic

• Pityriasis alba is a chronic skin condition that is similar to eczema and commonly affects young adolescents and children. It is more frequently seen during the summer and in families that have a history or eczema, allergy or asthma. It is an inflammatory skin disease that usually disappears by age 30. It may cause a mild itch that can be treated with PraxLotion . Moisturizer can address and dry skin patches. Patients with this disorder should use sunscreen to prevent the patches from becoming more pronounced.


Pityriasisalba causes white patches or face spots.

• Hormonal changes can cause skin discoloration that can appear as large brown spots on the face. These may be due to intake of hormones, birth control pills or pregnancy.



The diagnosis for spots on face is easily made by a physician upon taking a medical history and a physical examination. Laboratory tests such as skin biopsy or blood tests may be done if the spots are suspicious for cancer.


Spots on face that are due to acne or other post-inflammatory changes usually appear as reddish to dark brown discolorations that may be accompanied by scarring and pitting. Skin changes may evolve within six to twelve months after the initial lesion has healed.

Brown spots due to aging usually appear after the age of 40 and are common among fair-skinned individuals, but they can also be seen in people with dark skin. These spots may appear as small freckles although they may clump together, making the spots appear bigger. There are no other symptoms associated with age spots.

Spots due to Tinea versicolor have sharp edges and fine scales, and they may be accompanied by itching and sweating.

Moles and skin tags are usually harmless and unaccompanied by other symptoms, unless they are located in areas that may be irritated or scratched. One must be aware that when these spots become irregular in shape, size, and color, or undergo rapid changes accompanied by bleeding, one must consider skin cancer or melanoma.

Face spots due to Pityriasis alba are round or oval and usually start as red or pink blotches, that eventually dissipate and are replaced by white patches which are flaky, scaly and itchy.

Dark patches associated with hormonal changes may disappear after the delivery of the baby or after hormones are discontinued. No other symptoms are experienced.


Treatment for spots on face depends upon the cause and diagnosis. Some of these spots may be difficult to treat and therapy may take more than a few weeks. Although there are many over-the-counter products that can help improve these discolorations, it is best to seek dermatological advice.

Treatments may include topical skin care products to improve skin color, drugs to treat infection, clinical procedures like phototherapy,chemical peeling, microdermabrasion, and laser treatment.

References for Spots on Face

Eckert, J.Tips for Removing Spots on Face. Daily Glow.

Clinic Time.White Spots on Skin.

From Spots on Face to More information on Skin Spots
 To Skin Care Health Home


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