Patience is indeed a virtue when it comes to getting rid of dark spots on your skin naturally, as it can take months or even years for them to fade by themselves. Topical skin-lightening moisturizers can speed up the natural process, but only if you use them correctly.
You'll find directions for use on the labels of skin-lightening products, but proper use will vary based on the ingredients in the product and your skin type. To avoid complications and speed up the lightening process, talk to your doctor. A physician can examine your hyperpigmentation, recommend products and monitor their use.
Some products are safe to use for only around three weeks at a time, while other products may be safe for up to six months [source: Oakley]. Don't always trust the back of the box; ask your physician how long you should use your lightening cream and how often. Then allow your physician to monitor your treatment in case the formula causes additional skin problems.
Less is more when it comes to using a skin-lightening moisturizer. It's best to dab it onto each small dark spot instead of slathering it on an entire body part. If you cover an uneven area that includes both dark spots and normal pigmentation, you run the risk of lightening areas that were not discolored to begin with [source: Janes].
Even if you follow a physician's recommendations for using skin-lightening products, there's no guarantee you won't run into complications. Keep reading to learn about the health risks that come with eliminating skin spots.