Brown spots, dark spots, and age or liver spots are common occurrences as we get older, hormones change, and sun exposure damages our skin. Although these are expected, you may be tired of trying to cover them up with makeup or applying slow-working at-home creams or serums.
In-office treatment at Cosmetica Med Spa, like dermaplaning or chemical peels, can lessen the appearance of dark or brown spots, fine lines, and unhealthy skin. These treatments can also stimulate healthy skin growth and more collagen production for a youthful glow.
What Are the Brown Spots on My Face?
Lots of people grow up with freckles or moles, which can come and go depending on age, hormone balance, sun exposure, and overall skin health. However, if you do not normally have brown or dark spots on your face and you begin to develop these, you may worry about the cause and how you can treat them.
Typically, these spots are caused by sun damage and natural changes that occur in your skin as you get older. You can use home remedies to prevent or manage them, and you can choose from several effective cosmetic dermatological options to remove them.
Understanding what these spots are can also help you monitor your skin health. This includes watching out for signs of skin cancer.
Causes of Brown Spots on the Face
Dark or brown spots on the face might be caused by several potential conditions, which are collectively called hyperpigmentation. This is a term for spots on the skin, particularly on the face, which indicate an excess of melanin, a skin pigment that causes areas to become darker.
Hyperpigmentation can occur on any skin tone, and there are several potential causes.
- Sun damage: Sunspots, also called age spots or liver spots, occur due to consistent exposure to the sun over your life. The medical term is sun lentigines. These are small, darkened patches that are most visible on the face and hands.
- Hormonal changes: Melasma or chloasmaare darkened spots that appear on the skin as a result of hormonal changes as you get older, during pregnancy, or due to birth control pills. Darkened skin most often appears on the face and abdomen.
- Skin conditions: Acne, burst capillaries, rosacea, or similar skin conditions can leave spots and scarring on the skin, including on the face. Sometimes, these scars or spots might appear dark.
You may also experience skin changes, including the formation of dark spots, with certain medications, small skin injuries that become scars, or from using a skin or hair product that irritates your skin. Many dark spots will come and go, but if they do not, you may want to treat them. With treatment, your skin’s health can improve, and the spots may clear.
Treatment Options for Brown Spots on the Skin
If you develop dark spots on your skin and want to regain your original healthy, glowing skin tone, you have two basic options: treating dark spots with at-home creams or lotions, or seeking in-office treatment offered through a cosmetic specialist like Cosmetica Med Spa.
- At-home treatment: There are several serums, lotions, creams, and other facial or hand skin treatments that contain retinoids, glycolic acid, hydroquinone, kojic acid, cysteamine, and licorice root extract, and azelaic acid. These ingredients can speed up the rate at which dark or brown spots on your face naturally fade.
Many of these ingredients also inhibit the formation of tyrosinase, which is one of the key chemicals in the production of melanin. By inhibiting the formation of melanin in the skin, these at-home facial treatments can improve your natural skin tone. Slowly, over weeks or months, they can reduce the appearance of dark spots while preventing new ones from forming.
It is important to pick one or two of these skin treatments and use them as directed. Using too many over-the-counter options can irritate the skin, which can paradoxically make dark and brown spots more plentiful and apparent.
- Cosmetic in-office dermatology treatment: Although sun damage and acne scars can fade with time, they may not fade quickly enough. Brown spots caused by hormonal changes may fade after you give birth or quit birth control, but they may not be reversible with standard at-home treatment options.
Fortunately, there are cosmetic dermatology treatments that are effective and affordable. They are easy to find at your local aesthetic clinic or medical spa, like Cosmetica Med Spa.
- Dermabrasion: This issurgical sanding or planing of the outer layers of skin, usually on the face, to remove dark or brown spots, fine lines, and damaged skin.
- Chemical peels: A chemical solution is applied to the surface of the skin to remove damaged outer layers and encourage regrowth of new, healthy skin with more collagen.
- Laser resurfacing: A wand-like instrument that produces a laser is used to eliminate top layers of old, damaged skin to remove brown or dark spots, fine lines, and small scars. This process is sometimes called a laser peel.
- Cryosurgery: A liquid nitrogen solution is used to target specific areas of darkened skin, brown spots, or scar tissue to remove them by peeling them away from the face or body.
When to See a Doctor About Brown Spots
Although there are great options for at-home and in-office treatment to remove brown spots or dark areas on the skin, particularly on the face, it is very important to take steps to prevent these spots in the first place. While you may only be able to limit their formation, many brown spots appear due to sun damage.
Wearing sunscreen is vital to your skin’s long-term health. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the leading cause of skin damage, some of which increases melatonin production and leads to brown spots. Some of the damage is not detectable until it is too late.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. A brown spot on your skin does not mean you have cancer, but you should know what to look for in case it is a melanoma.
Here are signs that a brown spot is not just sun damage, but a melanoma or skin cancer spot:
- Asymmetry: One part of the spot, mole, freckle, or birthmark does not match another.
- Border: There are irregular, notched, blurred, or jagged edges.
- Color: The color of the spot is not the same all the way around. It may include shades of brown or black, or even pink, white, red, or blue.
- Diameter: The spot is bigger than ¼ inch across, which is about the size of a pencil eraser. Keep in mind that melanomas can be littler than this, but they may grow quickly.
- Evolving: The dark spot changes color, shape, or size faster than other spots.
Pay attention to new and existing spots using these guidelines. If you have concerns about any spots, you should consult your doctor. Any new spots that do not look like others on your body can indicate skin cancer, so find a dermatologist for help.
You should also seek a dermatologist’s help if you develop sores that do not heal; redness or swelling that extends beyond the borders of the brown spot, freckle, or mole; or itching or pain in the area that does not go away or comes and goes.
About Brown Spot Treatments Offered at Cosmetica in Boca Raton
Cosmetica offers fantastic outpatient cosmetic dermatology treatment in Boca Raton, Florida. Our aesthetic specialists provide high-quality dermaplaning, chemical peels, HydraFacials, microdermabrasion, and other treatments that remove dark or brown spots from your skin and improve your skin’s overall health and youthful glow.
Hyperpigmentation. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD).
Brown Spots, Red Spots, and Rosacea. University of Utah Health.
How to Fade Dark Spots Fast, According to Dermatologists. (July 2020). CNN.
Dermabrasion for Age Spots. American Society for Dermatological Surgery (ASDS).
Chemical Peels for Age Spots. American Society for Dermatological Surgery (ASDS).