A day at the beach, an afternoon out on the green, as an active guy, you probably spend a lot of time out in the sun. Although basking in the sun can seem like a great idea — people often associate being tanned with being healthy — in the long run, it can be bad news for your skin. It’s not just sunburns, skin cancer and wrinkles that you have to worry about. If you regularly spend a lot of time outdoors, you might be seeing another common sign of sun damage: Brown Spots.
While a few freckles here and there can be cute, large dark spots on your face can add years to your looks. Plus, they can be pretty embarrassing. Your best bet for avoiding brown spots is wearing an SPF of at least 30 and avoiding too much sun. When it comes to the spots you’ve already got, a few treatments, ranging from bleaching creams to chemical peels and from intense pulsed light to stronger laser treatments, can be the solution.
Benefits & Treatment Areas
Brown spot removal is most common on the hands and feet, areas that are normally exposed to the sun the most. The benefits of treatment include:
- Reduction in freckles and brown spots
- Smoother, more even skin
- Reduction in signs of aging (depending on treatment used)
Because there are several different treatments for brown spots available, it is important that you and Dr. Walder discuss your options and come up with a custom treatment plan according to your skin’s needs. During your consultation at Dr. Walder’s office in Miami Beach, you will have your skin evaluated and discuss any other concerns you have, such as signs of aging, like wrinkles, sagging skin, or rough/dull skin. You’ll get an opportunity to ask questions, and Dr. Walder will evaluate your candidacy for various treatments.
For procedures such as IPL, chemical peels, and skin lightening creams, most healthy men are good candidates for brown spot removal. However, for some of these treatments, some skin preparation is required, such as making sure the skin is not tanned in any way before treatments. Prospective patients should also be dedicated to preserving the results of the treatment by practicing good sun protection habits going forward.
As mentioned before, there are several methods for improving brown spots. Here’s a brief rundown of some options:
Skin lightening creams
For mild freckling and brown spots, a skin lightening cream containing hydroquinone might be all that is needed. This topical treatment can be used at home and requires no special treatment. However, the use of these powerful products should always be under the supervision of a dermatologist.
Chemical peels can be used in a variety of formulas and strengths, and work by resurfacing the skin to allow new, healthier skin to emerge. Mild peels can treat dull skin and minor sun damage, while more heavy duty peels are better for brown spots and signs of aging.
Using broadband light, IPL (intense pulsed light) treatments send concentrated light pulses into the skin to break up unwanted pigment with little damage to the skin itself. Sessions usually take about 30 minutes, and several treatments are necessary to achieve good results.
A more invasive and intense treatment, laser treatments (also known as “laser peels”) are good for addressing both sun damage and signs of aging. Laser resurfacing treatments involve heating the deep layers of skin with a powerful medical laser, which destroys old skin cells to make way for healthier, more youthful skin.
For most brown spot treatments, patients can go back to work and other activities almost immediately. Topical creams require no downtime, and IPL and light chemical peels allow patients to return to business as usual within about a day. Redness and swelling do occur following these procedures, but these side effects are typically mild.
Procedures like laser resurfacing require much more significant downtime than other brown spot treatments and involve heavy skin peeling, but the results from the treatment can be very dramatic. Recovery from laser resurfacing can last about 7-10 days.
Choosing the Right Doctor
When choosing your dermatologist, you will want to find a board certified specialist with expertise in cosmetic treatments. Because every case is different, choosing a doctor who has the knowledge to assess each patient’s needs will be the key to getting great results from your brown spot treatment.
Dr. Diane Walder is a renowned cosmetic dermatologist located in Miami, Florida, offering a range of effective treatments for sun damage, and customized skincare advice. If you would like to explore your options for treatment with Dr. Walder, call today to schedule an appointment. As a respected authority on skincare nationwide, Dr. Walder can help you find the treatment that is best for you.
What is the best treatment for brown spots?
The best treatment for brown spots depends entirely on the individual needs of the patient and the severity of the problem. However, IPL treatments are one of the most popular treatments for brown spots.
Is it possible to get more brown spots after treatment?
Unfortunately, treatment will not stop new spots from forming. Sun protection is important before, during, and after treatment in order to prevent the problem from becoming reoccurring. This will also reduce your risk for skin cancer.
Are there any risks to treatment?
As with any procedure, there are some risks. However, most brown spot treatments are very safe, and risks are very small. The most common side effects are redness, swelling, and skin peeling.
Will I need to take any precautions following treatments?
Sun protection is the biggest concern post-treatment patients should have. The skin will be especially sensitive and vulnerable to additional sun damage during the weeks following the procedure, so it is important to stay on top of prevention.
Will insurance cover brown spot removal?
As with most cosmetic procedures, getting coverage for brown spot treatment is unlikely. However, every insurance plan is different.