Brown spots usually occur on the face, neck, cheek and other sun exposed areas. These unwanted brown pigment spots are the result of chronic sun exposure and a genetic predisposition. Brown spots will darken with sun exposure and hormonal influences.
Photos: Before & After Treatment for Brown Spots
Treatment Options for Brown Spots
- Home Treatments for Brown Spots. Home Treatments can be designed for your skin type and complexion, and usually combine the use of a lightening cream (Obagi Clear) and a broad spectrum sunscreen. A topical retinoid, such as Renova, Retin-A, Differin or Tazorac, may also recommended.
- Office Treatments for Brown Spots. A series of light acid peels can be applied successfully in our Aesthetics Department. The strength and type of acid applied depends on your skin type and the depth of skin discoloration. These procedures are usually performed in a series of 3-6 peels at 2-4 week intervals. A light acid peel usually causes some mild redness but virtually no disruption in your activities. On occasion, a stronger acid peeling agent (TCA) will be applied to more stubborn lesions. TCA is an acid that is utilized at various strengths by your doctor. A crust or scab usually is present for a number of days following this treatment.
- Liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen therapy is also an effective treatment for smaller, and fewer brown spots. Treatments are performed safely and comfortably often in one treatment session in our office. A crust or scab will usually develop at the site for a few days and which will go away within a week or less.
- Laser Treatment Options. Lasers work by being selectively absorbed by the abnormal brown pigment, often sparing other non-affected skin structures. The current Laser options in our office include the Versapulse Laser and the Vbeam Laser. These devices precisely target the brown pigment and leave an immediate, small brown or gray surface change, which subsequently scabs and falls off over a period of several days to a week. These Lasers are the most effective devices, usually yielding excellent results in 1-2 sessions.
- Intense Pulsed Light. Starlux Intense Pulsed Light system is used for improvement of brown and red spots. There is often some brown scaling or scabbing that occurs for several days to a week following these treatments. Typically the treatments are less costly and more gentle than the Lasers, but may require up to 2-5 treatments to get the best results.
Prevention of Brown Spots
Preventive maintenance is important to keeping your results. The use of a broad spectrum zinc oxide or titanium dioxide sunscreen is vitally important. Several light freshening chemical peels can help blend treatment areas and add a more uniform and glowing skin surface following or in addition to your in-office treatments. An on going home care program with a Vitamin-A, glycolic and Vitamin-B and/or Vitamin-C products are often recommended for long-term skin health and maintenance.