Brown Spots & Melasma
Brown spots, age spots, liver spots, sun spots – all of these are really lay terms for the same problem: excess pigment. Also called hyperpigmentation, all manner of brown spots can be treated in Anchorage at FACES medical spa and laser center, where our board-certified plastic surgeons oversee a team of experienced skin care professionals.
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Brown spots occur commonly on sun-exposed areas such as the face, neck, upper chest, and the backs of the hands. Brown spots develop most often on women, but some men are also affected. The term "age spots" is often used to refer to hyperpigmentation, but brown spots can occur at any age.
Melasma is a more extensive form of brown spots, characterized by large patches of hyperpigmentation on the face. It is often associated with pregnancy, and is sometimes referred to as "the mask of pregnancy." Synthetic hormones, such as those in birth control pills, can also bring out melasma.
Rarely, brown spots can be a sign of something more serious, such as skin cancer, and a biopsy may be recommended.
No matter what treatment you choose, it's important to protect your skin from the sun to reduce or prevent hyperpigmentation.
Brown spots and melasma often respond well to topical medications and the following treatments:
Chemical peels: Areas of hyperpigmentation treated with chemical peels will gradually appear lighter. Peels can be combined with laser treatments for improved results in appropriate cases.
Laser and light therapy: Intense pulsed light (IPL) and broadband light (BBL) therapies are typically very effective in the treatment of hyperpigmentation. Most patients see significant improvement after just a few sessions.