brown spot removal

Brown Spot Removal Portland ORBrown spots on the skin are a common sign of aging. They are usually caused by an accumulation of sun exposure over the years, although they may be due to trauma or injury (called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). Also known as age or liver spots, they are flat painless areas, light brown to black in color. Brown spots tend to appear on the parts of the body that are most likely to be uncovered and unprotected from the sun, such as the face, hands, arms, shoulders and feet. They vary in size, but are larger than freckles. Brown spots are very common in people over the age of 40.

While brown spots are not medically dangerous, many people find them cosmetically unappealing. Most diagnoses of brown spots can be based simply on a doctor's examination of the skin area in question. If the spot appears irregular, the doctor may recommend a biopsy be performed to ensure that no skin cancer is present. Avoiding spending time in the sun and regular use of sunscreen can prevent brown spots from worsening as well as the occurrence of new brown spots.

If the brown spots are raised and rough surfaced, they may be seborrheic keratoses. These are very common, and often run in families as well as increasing in frequency with age. Although these growths may be unsightly, their removal is generally easy, using either a curette or liquid nitrogen to remove them with usually little or no scarring.

Treatment Options

Many people with brown spots are unhappy and embarrassed by them, especially when they are located in noticeable areas. There are numerous treatments available to improve them and help patients achieve clear, blemish-free skin once again.

Liquid Nitrogen

Many brown spots on the hands and face can be successfully treated with liquid nitrogen, otherwise known as cryotherapy. The liquid nitrogen is sprayed onto the area of the brown spot, freezing the skin and turning it white. It will form a small blister that typically heals in one to two weeks and the brown spot will disappear along with it.

Skin Bleaching

Skin bleaching is another form of treatment for brown spots. Containing hydroquinone, this medication is topically applied to the spots on the skin to lighten them. Some of these products can be purchased over the counter, but they will contain a lower concentration of hydroquinone than Dr. Taylor would prescribe. Skin bleaching products may come in the form of a liquid, cream, lotion or gel.

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure that rejuvenates the appearance of the skin by treating sun damage and other unwanted skin problems. The doctor will use a handheld device to transmit tiny crystal particles across the targeted area of damaged skin to exfoliate the surface layer. The exfoliated skin is then suctioned away with a vacuum tool so that the fresh, healthy underlying skin remains.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure used to reduce the appearance of skin irregularities such as brown spots. Laser skin resurfacing treats aging, damaged skin by removing a layer of skin through a noninvasive approach that uses short, pulsed laser light energy to strip away as much skin as is needed. This allows for a deep removal through very precise and less invasive techniques. The laser is moved over the targeted area multiple times until imperfections are no longer visible and a smooth layer of skin is left.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels remove damaged outer layers of skin on the face to treat uneven pigmentation and produce healthy, glowing skin. There are several types of chemical peels and the formula strengths can be varied to range from mild to strong as needed. Alphadydroxy acids (AHAs) are the gentlest type of chemical peel. They are typically applied once a week, or may be mixed in a milder concentration with a cream or cleanser to be used daily; treatment takes 10 minutes or less. They may be combined with hydroquinone, a bleach solution, to thin the skin and even its tone.

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