Annoying Brown Spots? We Got This!

One of the most common skin concerns we see in the office are dark brown spots or areas of hyperpigmentation.  These can occur in fair or darker skin-toned patients, usually on more sun-exposed areas of the face such as the upper cheeks.  This problem can be unsettling and can give a “dirty” look to one’s complexion.  Patients often come in having read about laser treatments for these spots, but there are a few things we need to consider prior to any treatment.

If we are dealing with flat, brown hyperpigmented spots on the face, then the most common cause is benign “solar lentigines,” or sunspots — essentially the skin’s response to longterm sun exposure.  The diagnosis can become more complex if a patient has many sunspots, some of which are larger or more confluent.  This appearance can sometimes be confused with another hyperpigmenting condition known as melasma. What’s more, melasma and sunspots can occur simultaneously!

It is important to think of these different diagnoses as treatment options have some overlap but are not entirely the same.  For example, the main treatments for melasma are topical lightening creams and/or chemical peels, often for initial and longer term maintenance treatment.  Laser treatments are almost categorically effective for sunspots, but may darken or have no effect for melasma.  These are important distinctions that may have a lasting effect on one’s appearance.

Our doctors at dermatology center of loudoun are used to evaluating, discussing, and treating these types of skin problems with our patients everyday.  Come see the difference!

Posted in: Dcletter, Latest Blog Posts, News

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“Just wanted to compliment the office on the professionalism… Each time I have come in, its’s been a great experience; doesn’t even feel like I’m going to a doctor’s office. Thank you so much! And, this is why I recommend your office more than others. It’s the quality of care!”

– George King
“Sofia’s radiant smile shows a person that loves her profession. She makes me happy when I see her and she is helping me get better. I trust her completely to make any decisions regarding my treatment because she is knowledgeable, competent and most important – caring”.

– Barbara O., psoriasis

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