What are Brown spots?
There are many different names for ‘brown spots’ such as age spots, senile warts, liver spots, sunspots, skin discolorations, hyper pigmentation, lentigines or freckles. While most brown spots are harmless, it is important that if you see spots change or are concerned about a spot, that you have them checked by a dermatologist.
Brown spots commonly appear with ageing, pregnancy and sun damage, with most brown spots frequently appearing on the face, scalp and hands. Importantly most brown spots can be removed if you wish.
At the enRich clinic we have trained dermatologists and doctors who are able to determine why you have the brown spots, and then offer you the best treatment. We are in a unique position of being able to choose the right treatment for your concern as we have over 20 different lasers and a variety of different topical treatments that can assist you in attaining a clear, unblemished skin appearance.
Treatments for Brown Spots & Freckles
All brown spots or pigment should be identified prior to any treatment.
The treatment chosen very much depends on the type of pigmentation, brown spot or freckle, and the patient’s skin type, or preference.
At the enRich clinic we are able to offer our clients a unique variety of treatments including state-of-the-art laser technologies and topical treatments.
Laser Treatments include
- Q- switch Ruby
- Fractional Q-switch Ruby – state-of-art New technology
- RevLite – ND Yag 532 & 1064
- Excel V – latest vascular laser
- Q-switch Alexandrite – Apogee
- Fraxel 1927nm – state-of-art new technology
- Co2 – Carbon dioxide and Erbium:YAG lasers which vaporize the surface skin thus removing the pigmented lesions.
- Fractional CO2 may also be effective.
With superficial resurfacing techniques there is minimal discomfort and usually minimal or no down-time, however several treatments are often required.
Topical Treatments include
- Chemical peels – Glycolic, PCA, Jessner & TCA
- Depigmenting creams & gels – hydroquinone or antioxidants such as:
- Alpha hydroxyl acids
- Vitamin C
- Azelaic acid
Results are variable but sometimes very impressive with minimal risks.
It is essential that sun protection is applied and appropriate sun protection such as hats are also worn to protect the skin from future exposure.
What is the cause of Brown Spots?
Primarily the main cause of brown spots is too much exposure to the sun. Prevention is important with a good 30+sun block and covering the skin in high UVA and UVB times of day. Other causes are hormones, congenital predisposition, freckles and trauma. Brown spots are usually given an accurate diagnosis which helps in determining the best course of treatment. Pigment is classified into superficial (epidermis), deep (dermal) and or mixed.
Different Types of Brown Spots
Freckles are small flat brown marks that appear darkest on areas of the body that are exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands and uncovered limbs.
Commonly freckles are often seen in fair skinned people, especially those with red hair. However as they can also be an inherited characteristic, they can also appear on darker skin types as well.
Large flat brown spots on the face and hands which usually occur in middle age as a result from sun damage / sun exposure over time. Unlike freckles they tend to persist for long periods and don’t disappear in the winter (though they may fade). Commonly known as age spots or liver spots, the correct term for a single lesion is solar lentigo (plural lentigines).
Lentigines are common in those with fair skin but are also frequently seen in those who tan easily or have naturally dark skin. Lentigines are due to a localised proliferation of melanocytes.
It is important to distinguish the harmless solar lentigo from an early malignant melanoma, the lentigo maligna. If the freckle has arisen recently and is made up of more than one colour or has irregular borders, or if you have any doubts, see your GP or dermatologist for advice.
Other Brown Marks
If the brown marks are scaly, they may be solar keratoses (sun damage) or seborrhoeic (senile warts). In the case of severe proliferation of keratinocytes, in some cases Photo Dynamic Therapy may also be necessary as long term neglect may result in skin cancers.