The pigmentation (melanin) in your skin gives it color. In healthy skin, the pigmentation is evenly distributed, giving you an even skin tone. However, various skin damage or diseases can cause excess melanin production, making areas of the skin dark. This is known as hyperpigmentation.
Brown spots, or other skin tone issues, can be caused by a variety of factors, including age. One of the most common causes is sun damage. A type of brown spots often called age spots or liver spots are more accurately dubbed as sunspots. They usually occur in individuals with a history of sun damage on the face, hands, or other exposed areas of skin.
One of the most common types of hyperpigmentation is melasma. This condition primarily affects women. It is most prevalent in expectant mothers, earning it the nickname “Mask of Pregnancy,” although anyone can get melasma. It appears as dark brown, sometimes grayish, patches of skin, usually on the face.
Melasma is triggered by exposure to harmful UV rays, and the best prevention is sun protection. This includes wearing a wide-brimmed sun hat, long sleeves, and broad-spectrum sunscreen. Hormonal changes, such as those experienced during pregnancy, make an individual susceptible to melasma. Certain birth control pills, medications, and even cosmetic products can also increase your risk of developing melasma.
Diagnosis and treatment
In many cases, melasma or other pigmentation problems can be diagnosed with a simple visual examination. However, if Dr. Achtman or Dr. McConnell suspects that a spot may be a sign of another condition, such as skin cancer
, they may perform further testing.
The best treatment depends on the nature of the condition, your skin type, and other factors. Your personalized treatment plan may begin with a topical medication to lighten the skin. If this is not sufficient, chemical peels
, laser therapy, or other gentle procedures may be used.
Although we can help reduce the signs of melasma and brown spots, it is up to you to prevent them from returning. Be sure to ask us about the best sun protection products for your skin type.
Let us help you discover your most beautiful, even, youthful skin. Call (972) 362-9567
and schedule an appointment at DSA Dermatology today.
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