Treatment for Facial Brown Spots?
- Asked by Serena in New York, NY
- 4 years ago
Over the last 1-2 years, I have developed two brown patches under my eyes, one large patch on my forehead and one on the top of my nose. After being told this may be caused by starting oral contraceptives 2 years ago, I stopped taking them about 6 months ago but not have seen the brown patches fade. I'm 29 and don't get much sun except an annual cruise and I always wear a hat and sunscreen on those trips. I wear an SPF15 sunscreen moisturizer every day. What are these, and is there anything I can do to get rid of them?
Likely benign hyperpigmentation areas or benign growths
Likely there is no medical concern. If not, the hyperpigmentation spots can be from inflammation, hormones, sun exposure, age or heredity. Treatment methods include various chemical peels, liquid nitrogen, bleaching creams and various intense pulsed light/laser systems from miminally invasive to ablative.
Most important is that with any treatment, prevention of recurrence is essential, through the use of sunblock (SPF 30+ is better) and various bleaching creams on an ongoing basis to prevent post-inflammatory (after any treatment that involves controlled "wounding" of the skin) hyperpigmentation.
You likely have melasma...
...but since there are numerous conditions that can mimick melasma, I suggest you be evaluated by your local dermatologist.
Melasma, a genetic and hormone-related condition is worsened by sun exposure. I would advise a daily moisturizer with SPF 30 or greater. Another great alternative containing a tinted cover-up make-up and zinc oxide is a product called Colore Science Sunforgettables, available online.
Besides strict sun protection, other interventions that can help:
1. hydroquinone ("bleaching" creams)
2. light chemical peels such as Jessners, sal acid and 10% TCA
3. Intense Pulsed Light ("photofacial")
4. Fraxel re:fine or re:store lasers.
The caveat is that if your melasma is successfully treated with any or a combination of these treatments, it tends to come right back if you do not protect yourself from the sun.
Help is available for facial brown spots
This is likely due to the increase in estrogen along with the sun exposure. This is melasma and is difficult to treat, but not impossible.
Keep out of the sun, use the strongest sun blocks you can get, and wear big brim hats (look for clothing that is rated for sun blocking).
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Melaquin AM and PM for Sun spots, melasma, hyperpigmentation and skin darkening
Melasma, hyperpigmentation, and sun spots are difficult to treat as there are many factors that contribute to the condition. Melasma can be caused by hormones, genetics, inflammation, and sun damage.
Treatment includes topical creams, IPL, avoidance of the sun, and discontinuation of exogenous estrogen.
I would recommend the Melaquin AM and Melaquin PM creams as a starter.
Can be brown spots but may be melasma related to the BCP's. Check it out with your doctor. Brown spots can easily be treated with IPL just as long as it is away from your eyes. You can also use hydroquinone products to remove them more slowly.
Treating Facial Brown Spots
One of the most effective ways to reverse the effects of chronic sun damage to your skin is by using a combination of two prescription strength medications: tretinoin cream and 4% hydroquinone. Unlike the unsubstantiated claims made by over-the-counter skin care products, the results of using these creams are backed by real medical science. We recommend the Obagi Nu-Derm System which uses both tretinoin cream and hydroquinone to visibly lighten age spots as well as the fine lines and wrinkles that are due to chronic sun exposure.
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.