Why do I have brown spots on my skin?

If you have brown spots on your skin you likely are dealing with a form of hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation goes by many names depending on the underlying causes. These names may include brown spots, melasma, age spots, liver spots, sun spots, sun freckles, and pregnancy mask.


What causes brown spots on my skin?

Hyperpigmentation is a result of pigment-producing cells going into overdrive as a result of either external factors, like sun exposure, or internal factors such as hormonal shifts caused by pregnancy, birth control pills or menopause. Hyperpigmentation can also occur as a result of inflammation. This could be something as minor as a bug bite or a cut, but also severe acne. Any form of hyperpigmentation will be worsened by sun exposure.


What is the best way to prevent brown spots on my skin?

Since hormonal changes likely are not an “optional” reason behind hyperpigmentation, you need to focus on controlling the main external cause – sun exposure. Prevent sun-induced hyperpigmentation through regular sunscreen application, hats, sun-protective clothing and seeking shade when possible.


Is there a way to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation?

Your local board-certified dermatologist can determine the best course of treatment for your specific hyperpigmentation concerns, but generally speaking, these are the most successful treatments:


  • Photofacial (IPL): A light-based treatment that focuses on the brown and red pigment in your skin.
  • Fractional Laser: A laser treatment that has FDA approval for Melasma and sun-induced hyperpigmentation
  • Chemical Peels: A technique used to improve the appearance of the skin


Do you have a skin, hair, or nail concern?

The board-certified dermatologists at Forefront Dermatology are here to answer and address any of your concerns surrounding your skin, hair, and nail health. Find a location nearest you to schedule an appointment.