As we age, our skin undergoes a lot of changes. From fine lines to volume loss, there are many ways we wear our years. But one that isn’t spoken about all that often is the development of brown spots.
If you are noticing more and more brown spots on your skin, you don’t need to just accept their presence. There are plenty of brown spot treatments that address hyperpigmentation.
Types of Hyperpigmentation
What you think of as brown spots are what skincare specialists call hyperpigmentation. This refers to the development of spots or patches that have an increased production of melanin. There are many causes of hyperpigmentation, including excessive sun exposure, hormonal changes and even injuries to the skin.
Hyperpigmentation is typically classified into three types:
- Age Spots: This hyperpigmentation is usually found on the face, hands, shoulder and arms. The primary cause behind these is UV exposure, which is why they tend to be concentrated on the upper body.
- Melasma: This is a skin condition that causes brown spots, ranging from light to dark, to develop on the skin as we age, whether or not there is UV exposure. It is commonly triggered by changes in hormones and is mostly found on the face.
- Freckles: Most people have at least a few freckles, and plenty of us have them from the time we are young. However, they do tend to become more prolific as we age. This is due to the fact that repeated sun exposure is a major trigger for their development.
If you are struggling to tell the difference between brown spots vs. melasma vs. freckles, schedule a consultation with a skin expert. Different types of hyperpigmentation require different treatments. Work with an expert to determine what is best for you.
How you treat hyperpigmentation will depend on the type you have and what your end goals are. It is possible to make some degree of change through at-home treatments. However, it is a good idea to consult with a skincare specialist first. Some treatments you can purchase online or in stores run the risk of making your condition worse, and many will have little to no effect.
Your dermatologist or med spa team might suggest some combination of the following hyperpigmentation treatments:
- Retinoic Acids: These are typically incorporated into topical creams and promote cell turnover.
- Melanin Suppression: Topical creams that inhibit tyrosinase production can suppress melanin from “gathering” too heavily in a single spot.
- Chemical Peels: With the correct approach, chemical peels can help lift the pigment, allowing it to be lessened or removed.
- GentleMax Pro®: This is a professional laser treatment that helps to lift discoloration and create an even skin tone.
- PicoWay® Resolve: PicoWay Resolve is another laser treatment that breaks up spots of hyperpigmentation, allowing for more even coloring.
Ultimately, there is no one approach that will be ideal for all people looking to address hyperpigmentation. However, the best guidance and treatments will come from professionals. Take time to research med spas and laser centers near you to find the right provider for your needs.
Caroll Delo is a board certified laser technician at Simply Smooth Laser Center in Tampa, a niche practice that focuses specifically on laser treatments. Simply Smooth Laser Center offers the most advanced options in laser hair removal, laser skin rejuvenation and laser tattoo removal.