Brown spots on the skin—typically on the face, chest, shoulders, and back of hands—can be the direct result of unprotected exposure to the sun. They can also be a result of hormonal changes and are a common skin problem that we, consult many of our patients about.
The flat spots on the skin—also called age spots, sun spots, solar lentigines, or liver spots (even though they have nothing to do with the liver)—are triggered after prolonged sun exposure. When the sun’s UV rays hit the skin, they damage the pigment-producing cells called melanocytes and causing a spike in production of the skin pigment called melanin. They’re common in patients with fair skin, but they can also appear in those with darker skin.
These spots range in color from brown to tan to dark brown based on how much sun exposure you’ve had—and cause your skin to look blotchy, freckled, and uneven. And they vary in size, again depending on how much sun you’ve been exposed to.
Link to hormones: As hormone levels may change during events such as pregnancy or due to birth control pills, brown, uneven patches can appear on a woman’s face when the skin is exposed to the sun. It seems that sunlight triggers the pigment-producing cells in the skin to go into overdrive. Called the melasma, these dark patches may persist and not improve even with bleaching creams.
Alexandrite: This resurfacing treatment will work to quickly eliminate deeper brown spots, leaving the skin clear and youthful. Depending on the selected course of treatment, downtime can vary from two to five days—which can be customized to fit your schedule and your needs. This laser can be used on the face, chest, hands, arms and legs.