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Brown Spots & Hyperpigmentation

Causes and Cures to Blotchy Skin

"I've got brown spots on my face. Can you get rid of them?"

There are a variety of treatments for brown spots and hyperpigmentation. Each solution is case-dependent and certain treatments work better than others for the underlying reason you have brown patches on your skin in the first place. Dr. Cobos carefully determines which treatment is suitable and most effective for your particular skin color, skin type and skin problem.

Some of us have hyperpigmentation (the over-production of natural pigment in our skin) from the time we were so young we don't recall when it began or why. For others, it is a result of hormone shifts, the use of birth control pills or the sudden appearance of a "pregnancy mask" that refuses to go away.

For most of us, though, splotchy skin and brown markings on the face, chest, arms and hands are a direct result of sun exposure. Whether termed brown spots, melasma, age spots, "liver spots", sun spots, sun freckles or any other name, hyperpigmentation is a melanin response to some type of trigger. That trigger is usually the sun.

 

Dr. Cobos finds the most effective solutions to existing brown spots and unevenly-colored skin will be one of or a combination of:

  • Fraxel - A fast-healing laser treatment that has FDA approval for Melasma and Chloasma and Sun-induced hyperpigmentation
  • SilkPeel - A fast-healing laser treatment that has FDA approval for Melasma and Chloasma and Sun-induced hyperpigmentation
  • Chemical Peels - Over-all skin regeneration by chemically causing a peeling of your damaged skin

Understanding Hyper Pigmentation

The Role of Melanin To have an understanding of what hyper-pigmentation is, it's important to understand the role of melanin. Skin gets it's color, whether light or dark, from melanin. Melanin is the pigment that your body produces which determines the color of your skin, hair and eyes. The more melanin, the more color and the more "color-potential" you have in your skin.

hyperpigmentation

What Determines Your Brown Spot Potential?

Your ancestors determine your susceptibility to having brown spots or brown patches on you skin. If you are of Latin America, Middle Eastern or Asian descebt, you will have far more melanin cells and the resulting likelihood of hyperpigmentation is far greater than someone whose ancestors came from the Scandinavian countries.

A Look at the 3 Major Causes of Hyper Pigmentation and Brown Spots

I. Hyper-pigmentation from Sun Exposure One of the primary functions of melanin production in your skin is to protect you from UV rays from the sun. A "tan" is the prime example of your body's melanin response to the sun.

When the skin is assaulted by repeated exposure to the sun, you experience sun damage in a variety of ways and one of those is brown spots and hyper-pigmentation resulting from an over-production of melanin. Once the cycle of pigment over-production has started, it is difficult to stop it and usually medical intervention is required.

II. Hyper-pigmentation (Melasma or Chloasma) from Hormones The second most frequent cause of hyper-pigmentation is hormone changes. This may be a result of birth control pills, pregnancy or the various stages of menopause. Hormone shifts trigger the melanin cells to go into over-drive. This can happen even if you are not a sun worshipper. However, if you have hormone-related pigmentation problems, you still need to be careful since sun exposure will always make it worse.

III. Hyper-pigmentation from injury (termed Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation or PIH) The third most common cause of pigmentation is a direct result of some type of injury to the skin.

Typical pigmentation-causing injuries include

Why does Injury Cause HyperPigmentation?

Your body's response to injury is inflammation. Often you don't even see it as much of it can occur underneath the epidermis. This inflammation triggers melanin production and the result is a brown patch or stripes.

This is one of the reasons you should always have medical treatments such as hair laser removal, fotofacial, or any type of laser or light treatment performed in a dermatology office under the watchful supervision of a board-certified dermatologist. Untrained or poorly trained technicians have in many instances caused irreparable damage to their clients' skin.

What is the Major Control Factor in Preventing BrownSpots?

That would be you!

Sun exposure is the #1 cause of facial and body brown spots, age spots, freckles, moles and pre-cancerous actinic keratosis. The only way to proactively prevent the majority of environmentally-caused hyperpigmentation is to protect your skin from the sun. Hormones, injury and pigmentation from allergic reactions or skin disease such as acne are mostly beyond your control. But you are in control of how well your skin is protected from the sun. Sunscreen, Sunblock, hats and sun-protective clothing are your first line guard against not only unsightly brown patches but also sun damage that could lead to skin cancer.

Treatment Review

  • Fraxel - A fast-healing laser treatment that has FDA approval for Melasma and Chloasma and Sun-induced hyperpigmentation
  • SilkPeel - A fast-healing laser treatment that has FDA approval for Melasma and Chloasma and Sun-induced hyperpigmentation
  • Chemical Peels - Over-all skin regeneration by chemically causing a peeling of your damaged skin

 

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Phone : 714-870-SKIN (870-7546)
Premiere Dermatology
475 S. State College Blvd.
Brea, CA 92821

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