I had a small brownish spot, less than the size of a pea, on my hand. My Beverly Hills Dermatologist told me I could have lasers used on it one or two times in order for it to go away and I happily agreed. The day I showed up for the lasers, an electric needle was used instead called a Hyfrecator. I did not know she was going to change methods. The light brown spot has been traded for a red shiny scar. It has been two months and I have been diligent about sun block. Will this go away?

Doctor Answers 4

Treating brown spots

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Brown spots can be treated by a variety of methods.  They can be frozen with liquid nitrogen, zapped with a laser, or burned with a hyfrecator.  Which method is used depends on what type of brown spot it is (sun spot, seborrheic keratosis, etc) as well as the preference of the physician.  Any treatment method has a risk of leaving a red mark, and/or a lighter or darker spot.

Aventura Dermatologist

Brown spot treatment on your hand

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I generally use a Yag laser to treat the isolated brown spot on your hand. If the brown spot was a Seborrheic Keratosis which is a brown lesion, then it would need to be treated with an electric needle.  It is difficult to say what the lesion was without seeing photos.  If it is still not healed after 4 to 6 months you should return or get a second opinion.  It is important to find an experienced dermatologist who has a great deal of cosmetic dermatology experience.

Brown spot treated by hyfrecator

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I would generally treat an individual lesion with simple liquid nitrogen, although if there are many lesions, I would suggest a laser or light device. A hyfrecator can be carefully and gently used, especially if the brown spot has some thickness. Regardless, if you're patient, the red mark will fade over the next few months. Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto Dermatology Centre.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

Hyfrecator Scar

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Hi Happy.  A hyfrecator can sometimes cause more damage than a laser because it uses a metal electrified tip that is controlled by the hand movements of the practitioner.  If the user of the device leaves it too long on the same area, it can cauterize (burn) into the dermis and this is what can cause permanent scarring.  

If the spot you had was a sun spot (lentigo or flat brown spot) then lasers would have been our choice.  If the lesion was a seborrheic keratosis (bumpy brown lesion) then a hyfrecator may have been a good choice.

The scar should heal if you keep it out of the sun and keep it moisturized.  The extent of healing will depend on how deep the treatment was. 

We are also in Los Angeles and offer free consultations.


Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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