Types of Blemishes or Spots on the Face

The skin is an organ that can present diverse variations in some of its characteristics throughout life. Spots in the face area are one of the most common.
Types of Blemishes or Spots on the Face

Last update: 30 May, 2023

The skin on our face is part of our letter of introduction to society. For this reason, many people strive to take care of it and keep it as healthy as possible. However, sometimes certain types of blemishes on the face seem unavoidable. What types of spots on the face are there?

Blemishes or spots on the face are areas in which the color of the skin is irregular, and may be lighter or darker than the rest. This can have a variety of causes, such as skin rashes and hormonal changes.

Not all types of blemishes or spots on the face have the same origin nor can they be treated in the same way. Therefore, below we’ll review the most common. If you think you have any of them, we recommend that you go to the dermatologist.

Types of blemishes or spots on the face


Melasma is one of the most common skin disorders. It develops slowly and typically affects the central area of the face. It produces brown spots (ranging from light to dark).

It’s a chronic and relapsing disorder, more common in women during and after pregnancy, according to scientific evidence. It’s also common in women taking birth control pills.


Freckles are another of the most common types of skin blemishes. They tend to be more common in people with fair complexions. They’re a type of benign lesion, related to the synthesis of melanocytes.

In general, they’re brown spots (which may vary in tone), although in some cases they can be black. They usually aren’t larger than half a centimeter.

Freckles that are present on the skin from birth are called congenital nevi. Those that appear during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood are called common freckles.

Freckles on a girl.
Freckles are benign spots that do not progress to malignancy.

Pityriasis alba

Pityriasis alba is a chronic skin disorder. It doesn’t usually produce symptoms and is more common during childhood. The spots it produces are light in color and are located mainly on the face area. But they can also appear in areas exposed to sunlight.

According to some sources, there’s no specific treatment. It must be differentiated from vitiligo, which is a process with other causes.


Phytophotodermatitis is a reaction produced by contact with some plant substances (such as lemon juice, parsley, dill, and grass) and subsequent exposure to the sun. Some case studies clarify that lesions don’t appear immediately.

They start hours or even days after exposure. This makes diagnosis difficult, especially in children, as they don’t tend to remember accidental contact with the causative agents.

Moles or nevi

Moles or nevi are spots that can be brown (usually quite light brown) or black. According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, they appear during childhood and adolescence. Most people have them. They should be checked out if they change in appearance or disappear over time.

Unlike other types of spots on the face, moles can have rounded edges. They can also be slightly raised and only measure a few millimeters.


Lentigos are benign spots that are associated with an increase in the number of melanocytes and the production of melanin. They range from brown to black, have well-defined borders, and can be found in different areas. They’re often confused with freckles.

Lentigos can be of two types:

  • Simple: they can appear on any mucocutaneous surface.
  • Solar, actinic, or senile: they develop in photo-exposed areas, induced by ultraviolet radiation (UV).


Another type of spot on the face is couperose. They have a reddish hue and are located on the cheeks, the back of the nose, and the chin.

They’re produced by an increase in blood pressure locally, so the skin has small dilated capillaries. However, they’re also associated with hormonal changes and overexposure to the sun. In addition to redness, couperose can cause skin dryness and sensitivity.

Acne spots

Acne blemishes or marks (also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation marks) are common in people who have had moderate to severe acne. They can have a reddish or brown tone and are the result of an excess of melanin.

They appear after the blemish has subsided. There are different dermatological treatments that help mitigate or even eliminate these marks.

Severe acne staining the face.
Acne scars are associated with moderate or severe cases of the pathology.

What should we consider?

Excessive sun exposure (with or without adequate sun protection) can aggravate various types of blemishes on the face. Therefore, caution with the sun is recommended every day, in any season, and not only when going to the beach or going outdoors in summer.

It’s also necessary to avoid applying over-the-counter cosmetic products with lightening or depigmenting properties to darkened areas without the authorization of an expert. These types of applications often don’t have the desired effect and only make the spots worse (and make them spread).

For this reason, home remedies such as those made from lemon juice aren’t recommended either. Keep in mind that although they can lighten the skin, they also irritate it and make it more photosensitive.

Este texto se ofrece únicamente con propósitos informativos y no reemplaza la consulta con un profesional. Ante dudas, consulta a tu especialista.