Ask a doctor

Best Treatment for Brown Sun Spots?

I have many brown sun spots on my cheekbones and surrounding area. What would be the best course of treatment for this problem?

Doctor Answers (2)

Brown Spots Indicative of Sun Damage and Aging

+1

UV light (from the sun's rays and tanning booths) causes DNA damage and collagen/elastin degradation associated with the aging process. This can cause the appearance of brown hyperpigmentation spots, increased skin cell adherence, fine wrinkles, and the general loss of skin luster. It also causes skin cancers which can be deadly.

Brown hyperpigmentation represents irregular melanin deposition in sun-exposed areas of the face, arms, hands, and decolletage. One of the best treatments is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). IPL photofacials are performed at 3 week intervals to erase the brown spots and smoothe the appearance of the complexion. Usually 3-4 sessions are required with essentiall ZERO downtime!

To ensure your complexion stays even, we also recommend starting a strict medical skin care program (eg Obagi) with limitation of sun exposure / broad spectrum SPF in addition to the IPL treatments.

For completeness, you should know that medium-depth chemical peels can also do a very nice job of erasing brown spots and can help erase fine lines simultaneously, but are typically associated with anywhere from 2-4 days of downtime. So the added benefit of eliminating wrinkles comes with the cost of a few days of downtime.

In any event, discuss all these issues thoroughly with your plastic surgeon or dermatologist and get going on a course of therapy! And stay out of the sun, or at least buy a good hat.


Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Age spots or brown spots treatment

+1

As we age the pigment cells of the skin migrate from a widely dispersed pattern into clumps separated by areas of less pigmentation. This is hastened by sun exposure and appears to the eye as age or brown spots. The best treatment is laser with a 1064nm wavelength as that has the best absorption for that color. When multiple brown spots appear on the face most doctors prefer chemical peel or laser resurfacing to even out the pigmentation over a broad area rather than treat each spot indvidually.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.