Brown spots, age spots, sun spots — whatever you want to call them, no one likes seeing them on our skin. At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we have several treatment options to get rid of your brown spots and keep your skin looking younger and healthier.
What are brown spots?
Age spots are flat brown, grey, or black spots on the skin. They normally show up on sun-exposed areas, such as the arms, face, and back. Unlike actinic keratoses, which can become skin cancer, typical brown spots are not dangerous. In addition to sun spots, age spots or brown spots, you may also hear them called solar lentigines, liver spots, and senile lentigo.
What causes brown spots?
These spots form due to excess production of melanin in the skin. Melanin is responsible for giving our skin its color. While not all causes of brown spots are fully known, sun exposure and its corresponding ultraviolet light are the main factor. Skin aging tends to allow for more brown spots to form, although this could simply be a factor of the accumulation of sun exposure and damage over the years.
How are brown spots removed?
At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we offer a number of treatments to help our patients get rid of their brown spots:
- Laser resurfacing— Using laser energy to remove the outer layer of the epidermis removes or lessens the appearance of brown spots.
- Intense pulsed light— Light wavelengths that correspond to the color of the brown spots are emitted onto the skin. The melanin in the spots absorbs the energy, causing spot to break up and the body to shed the darker skin.
- Cryosurgery— When liquid nitrogen is sprayed onto a brown spot, the spots dries up and peels off. It may eventually come back, but this lightens the spot or removes it.
- Chemical peels— Chemical peels remove varying amounts of skin, depending on the chemical used. When new skin replaces the skin that has peeled, it grows without the brown spots.
- Microdermabrasion— This procedure sprays tiny crystals across the skin, lightly abrading the surface. This lightens brown spots.
Brown spots are not medically dangerous, but are unsightly. When you see the team at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we’ll discuss with you the best options for removing your brown spots. Give us a call at (503) 297-3440 to make an appointment.