If you have dark spots on your chin that simply refuse to fade away, it may be because of excessive hair plucking. This can result in permanent scarring, and those dark spots can stick around for years. However, the good news is that there are numerous options for getting rid of them once and for all.
How Plucking Chin Hair Causes Dark Spots/Hyperpigmentation?
Hair plucking can cause inflammation, to which your skin then reacts by producing the dark pigment melanin. The excess of melanin then leads to the development of dark spots.
Hyperpigmentation due to hair plucking is not exclusive to the chin area and is actually pretty frequent in underarm skin. People with medium to dark skin tones are particularly prone to this type of hyperpigmentation, which is a common reason for cosmetic consultations.
The results from a 2006 study conducted on Filipino women suggest that frequent and persistent plucking of pigmented skin results in gradual but progressive skin darkening.
How to Get Rid of Dark Spots on the Chin After Plucking?
Currently, there is no widely recognized treatment for getting rid of dark spots / hyperpigmentation on your skin, be it your chin, underarms, or somewhere else. Since this skin issue is considered to be a variant of inflammatory hyperpigmentation, it is possible to treat it with different bleaching agents.
A 2013 study showed that the application of 4% topical niacinamide or 0.05% topical desonide resulted in significant improvement of the hyperpigmented underarms in Mexican women. Desonide proved slightly more effective in removing dark spots than niacinamide.
Since niacinamide has antimelanogenic or skin lightening properties and desonide has anti-inflammatory properties, these results suggest that the application of topical creams that contain one of these active ingredients should help with eliminating dark spots on your chin as well.
Some other products that can make your skin tone overall more even include various acids such as azelaic, glycolic, and kojic; retinoids such as retinol, tretinoin, adapalene, or tazarotene; and vitamin C. These are the ingredients that can fade the existing hyperpigmentation, and some of them can even slow down the production of melanin.
Do make sure to always apply broad-spectrum sunscreen when you are spending time outside. This is especially important if you are using some of the ingredients mentioned above, since a good sunscreen can prevent new hyperpigmentation and help fade the existing one.
Finally, if you don't mind waiting a bit, your dark spots will fade on their own. Dark spots and patches mean that your skin is healing from an injury (such as plucking, for example), so if you don’t injure your skin again, the hyperpigmentation should fade with time.
This process, however, can take 6 to 12 months for dark spots that are a few shades darker than your skin, which means you might want to explore alternative hair removal options that will not cause trauma to your skin.
If your current treatment isn't producing the desired results, you should consult a dermatologist. Treating hyperpigmentation can sometimes be difficult and you may need a prescription-strength treatment.
Does Plucking Hair on your Chin Cause Skin Damage?
Even the most routine skincare can give rise to the appearance of dark spots. Harsh practices such as waxing, shaving, plucking, tweezing, or using physical exfoliants can all lead to skin trauma and inflammation that result in changes in the skin such as hyperpigmentation.
Does Plucking Chin Hair Cause Scars?
Plucking your chin hair can trigger an inflammatory reaction in your skin, which can manifest itself in itching, the development of papules, pustules, and post-inflammatory changes in skin color, i.e. hyperpigmentation or dark spots.
This condition is known as Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) and is much more common in men, especially those of darker skin tones, than it is in women and can be observed in the beard area. Keloids, which are basically areas of irregular fibrous tissue, can also appear as a result of PFB, which leads to the development of large scars that can be unpleasant to look at.
What to do with Chin Hair Instead of Plucking?
There are multiple alternatives to plucking your chin hair, but there is also a lot of misinformation regarding these different options. Below are some less invasive methods for removing unwanted chin hair and thus avoiding dark spots.
You can remove unwanted hair with depilatories. These are topical products such as creams and gels that chemically dissolve your hair and, as an added bonus, have a longer lasting effect than shaving.
Simply apply the product to your chin, wait for the amount of time stated on the packaging, and then rinse it off. Just to be on the safe side, do a patch test before using these products since it is possible that some of the product ingredients may be irritating to your skin.
You can also use prescription creams with eflornithine hydrochloride, which is an ingredient that stops new hair growth. Some of these creams are advertized as Vaniqa® or Eflora®. Once you start using a product of this type, you will have to make sure to apply it to your chin twice a day, every single day, since your hair will start growing again once you stop applying the product.
You will also have to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist first, who will have to determine if you are the right candidate for this medication and whether to give you a prescription or not.
Another option is laser hair removal. The laser sends out a beam of light that is absorbed by the pigment in your hair. This can eventually destroy the hair follicle, preventing the hair from growing back. Even though it takes about 6 weeks for the follicle to be destroyed, your chin hair will grow back, but it will be gradually thinner and finer after each additional treatment. If your chin hair has a light tone, such as gray, blonde, or red, this treatment will have no effect, since lasers can't target light-colored hair.
Another thing you can do is try an electrolysis treatment. This method involves passing an electrical current through a hair follicle, which damages it and prevents new hair growth. This type of permanent hair removal usually requires several sessions to see the results, since hairs grow in different cycles.
This treatment works on hair of any color and once you're done with the series of treatments, you won't need any additional touchups. Since this treatment can sometimes cause raised scars in people of color, it is best to have it done by either a board-certified dermatologist or a board-certified electrologist.