How do Brown Spots and Age Spots form?
Pigmentation is color in your skin produced by melanin, a natural pigment that also determines eye and hair color. However, if too much melanin is produced in one area, the result is a brown patch on your skin that is aesthetically displeasing.
Types of Hyperpigmentation
- Melasma or Chloasma: Skin coloration that appears as blotchy brown spots, often covering cheeks, forehead, or temples. This type of hyperpigmentation can be hereditary, or triggered by hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause. Taking birth control pills can also cause Melasma.
- Age Spots or Liver Spots: Smaller darkened patches usually on older adults who have been exposed to the sun for many years. Usually it can be seen on the face and backs of hands.
- Post-inflammation Hyperpigmentation may occur following any process that causes skin inflammation. For example, skin diseases such as acne or shingles may leave spots.
- Skin Rejuvenation Program: To have skin that is free from brown spots, sun damage hyperpigmentaion, age spots, and Melasma, a skin rejuvenation program is your first step. Any successful treatment for pigmentation problems will require achieving and maintaining healthy skin through pre-conditioning. Some patients will only need the skin rejuvenation program to have the beautiful skin they always dreamed of. All forms of pigmentation problems begin in the melanin cells beneath the skin's surface.
The Skin Rejuvination Program uses prescription level Hydroquinone, a skin lightening agent, Retin-A and /or mild steroid. Hydroquinone will suppress melanin production at the cell level, while Retin-A and exfoliate the top layer of the skin. These products are used at home and are the first step to achieving clear healthy skin. The exfoliation from a skin rejuvenation program will not penetrate as deeply as a chemical peel or laser treatment.
The results may take slightly longer if this treatment is used alone. However, used alone or as a pre-treatment plan with another procedure, the skin rejuvenation program will bring you beautiful skin, and a healthy skin care regimen to ensure your results will last a lifetime.
- Chemical Peels: Some pigmentation problems are more serious and therefore must be treated with a chemical peel. A chemical peel is a safe and effective form of treatment for most pigmentation problems. Generally without anesthesia, a chemical compound ,such as Trichloracetic acid is applied to the face. This application will lead to the removal of the surface layer of damaged skin. After the treatment, the dead skin peels away, allowing healthier, clearer skin to emerge.
During your consultation, Dr. Badia will be able to determine the best course of treatment for your pigmentation problems.
How To Maintain Your Results
With any treatment of pigmentation problems, sun exposure must be avoided. Age spots and brown patches on the skin have been directly linked to sun exposure. To maintain result from a treatment and to prevent any further pigmentation damage from occurring, use a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher. Also, maintenance treatments with the creams and peels may be necessary.