Brown spots, sun spots, age spots, freckles and hyperpigmentation are formed by an accumulation of excess melanin or pigment within the skin’s surface. Pigment is the skin’s natural form of defense against environmental and inflammatory aggressors. These aggravators trigger excess melanin production for cellular protection when they are excessively exposed. With age and repetitive damage, these dark spots accumulate and can become permanent if left untreated.
Causes of Brown Spots
Except for moles and freckles patients are born with, most brown spots that develop over time are due to the following factors:
- Sun exposure (UVA and UVB radiation, which includes tanning beds)
- Hormonal fluctuations (including melasma during and post-pregnancy)
- Acne (hyperpigmentation can often come with acne scarring)
- Skin injury and surgery
How We Treat Brown Spots at Kline Dermatology
We have a breadth of treatments that can target and diminish excess pigment in all its forms. For some patients, a series of chemical peels or a light microlaserpeel may be all it takes to erase years of sun damage or signs of melasma for a brighter, more even complexion. For deeper-set sun damage or dark spots, we also offer IPL Fotofacial or fractional resurfacing laser treatments that will target melanin and related skin tone and texture far beneath the surface of the skin. These treatments can be used to treat the face any also other popular body areas such as the chest, neck and hands.
Please note: We take some ‘brown spots’ very seriously at Kline Dermatology. As a practice with years of skin cancer expertise, we always take extra care that any complaints about changing areas of pigment or growing dark spots are not very early signs of skin cancer. For all patients, we advise an annual skin cancer screening (which might be increased to every six months if there is cause for closer observation).