Have you recently started to notice brown spots on your face, chest, or hands? The development of brown spots and dark patches often begin appearing on your skin in your 30s, and they are one of the first signs of aging. Brown spots also known as hyperpigmentation; a term commonly used to also refer to freckles or darkening of the skin from psoriasis and eczema. Your skin develops spotting as a result of the production of melanocytes (skin cells that form melanin). The cells place melanin within deep levels of the skin which causes the discolorations to occur. When exposed to sunlight, the areas start to show dark spots that sometimes cannot be reversed with traditional skin care products.
Three main types of hyperpigmentation can occur:
- Melasma: This form of hyperpigmentation is prevalent in women with darker skin tones. The discoloration happens on the nose, cheeks, forehead, or just above the lips. Hormone change such as during pregnancy or while taking oral contraceptives often makes the condition worse.
- Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation: Skin discolorations occur as a result of skin trauma or inflammation caused by eczema, acne, or psoriasis. The inflammation spurs the skin to increase pigment production which causes the brown spotting.
- Sun Damage: Excessive sun exposure without sun protection in your youth leads to hyperpigmentation decades later. The sunspots appear light brown and are often referred to as ‘freckles.’ Many people have them on their face, neck, hands, and chest. They are the most prominent in areas of the skin exposed to UV light. With continuous sun exposure, the spots become darker.
Anti-Aging Options to Treat Brown Spots
If you are suffering from hyperpigmentation, you have many anti-aging options that will help reduce their appearance.
With a facial peel, a chemical solution is applied to the skin to smooth and improve the appearance of your facial skin by removing the outer layer. The process stimulates new skin cell development and collagen. Your physician will help you decide which peel works the best for your skin’s needs. You can choose from various levels such as light, medium, or deep. Overall, a chemical peel takes only 10 minutes. The solution will gently exfoliate your skin to remove discolorations, sun spots, fine lines, and other imperfections. Once healed, your face will appear smoother with a noticeable reduction in wrinkles and brown spots.
BroadBand Light Therapy
BroadBand Light Therapy uses high-intensity pulses of light to reach the lower layers of the skin known as the dermis. This technology leaves unaffected. It typically takes several sessions to achieve desired results. Over time, you will see an improvement in not only your skin’s texture but also less pigmentation.
The micropen, also called the SkinPen, is a micro-needling tool that helps improve the appearance of acne scarring and reduce hyperpigmentation. With the micropen, your physician can effectively target troubled areas for a dramatic improvement. You’ll be able almost immediately to see results.
Microdermabrasion renders almost immediately noticeable results in the skin’s texture. However, when used to treat hyperpigmentation it can prove useful with some patients, but others may not experience noticeable changes. You should discuss the possible benefits of the cosmetic treatment for reducing brown spots with your physician.
Glycolic acid has been used for centuries to reduce age spots. It is believed to fade the spots of hyperpigmentation by encouraging rapid cell turnover before the melanocytes have a chance to color the surface of the skin. Vitamin E capsules can be taken orally and the oil extracted from the capsule for topical application on the brown spot. Vitamin E helps to slowly faded the discolorations. Topical treatments might be successful for some individuals, but others often notice very little or no reduction in the appearance of the hyperpigmentation.
At the Vargas Face & Skin Center’s Kansas City skin rejuvenation center you can explore the latest breakthrough anti-aging procedures to help you combat hyperpigmentation and other issues. Hannah Vargas, M.D., FACS will work closely with you to determine your skin’s unique needs to reduce the appearance of brown spots.