Grayish brown colored spots are seen on many individual’s face. They are often found on the cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose and chin. In medical terms brown spots are called as “melasma”. Some people may develop them on their neck, shoulder, hands and forearms also. Brown spots are also known as liver spots that appear as flat tan brown dots on the face.
Though many factors are known to cause brown spots, over-exposure to harsh sunlight is the major cause. Fair complexioned people are more likely to develop brown spots than others. Wearing sunscreen lotion and staying away from sun’s exposure is the only way to prevent brown spots. In case you need to go out in sunlight, you need to apply sunscreen lotion of suitable SPF for every 2 hours as long as you stay outside.
Brown Patches on the Face and Neck :
Some people may develop brown colored patches on the face instead of brown spots.
Vulnerable Areas :
Cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, and chin and above the upper lip are the most vulnerable regions on the face that develop brown spots. There are some people who get brown or black spots on the neck and on the forearms. Tops of feet and back of hands and shoulders are also overly exposed to sun developing brown spots in due course.
Clinical Significance of Dark Brown Spots :
Brown spots do not have any clinical importance and is not connected to cancer. However you can check with your dermatologist to clear your doubts. If any kind of moles or spots on the skin grow in size and changes its color it can be malignant or cancer causing. You need to consult your doctor without any delay if you have such symptoms.
Who Gets Brown Spot ?
Women are more likely to get brown spots on their face than men. Fair complexioned women, women with fair skin and those with history of sunburns are viable to develop brown spots. The people who spend most of their day in sunlight are at high risk of getting brown spots.
- Over Exposure to Sunlight :
UV light of the sun is considered to be the major cause for getting brown spots on the face and other areas. Once or twice exposure and penetration of UV rays does not cause brown spots. But prolonged exposure to Ultraviolet light or using tanning lamps for long duration can cause brown spots.
- Tanning Beds :
People living in cold countries like America use tanning beds frequently to escape from freezing weather and such condition increase the chance of getting brown spots and patches.
- Melanocytes Production :
Melanocytes are cells of skin that are responsible for producing color. When there is excess production of melanocytes it can cause increased pigmentation leading to brown spots. People with fair color would have more number of melanocytes in the skin leading to development of brown spots.
- Hormonal Imbalance :
Pregnant women will have plenty of new hormones running in their body which can cause brown spots on the face and neck. But in most of the cases, these spots would disappear after childbirth.
Symptoms of Brown Spots : Size and Shape
They appear as flat small sized oval structures that can be easily distinguished from normal skin. The skin on such areas gets tanned due to increased pigmentation. The size of brown spots range anywhere from half inch to 13 mm and sometimes they join together as cluster.
Are there any test needed to diagnose brown spots? No test is needed to detect brown spots since they are evident and grow obviously on your face and neck.
Many kinds of medical treatments are available for removing brown spots. Brown spots have become a growing concern for millions of people across the globe and thousands of dollars have been invested in research to invent newer methods for removing brown spots.
- Laser Assisted Approach :
Laser therapy using high intensity light is largely used by dermatologists to get rid of brown spots. Laser therapy is beneficial when compared with other medical treatments because:
- You can get immediate result
- Even tiny spots can be removed
- No repeated sessions are required
But laser treatment can cause skin irritation, redness and scarring. Other methods like cryotherapy (freezing the spot with liquid nitrogen), chemical peeling (using mild acid to remove spots) and dermabrasion are followed by many doctors to get rid of brown spots.
Home Remedies :
Plenty of home remedies can effectively be used to remove brown spots from your face and neck. Lemon juice extract, butter milk, yoghurt, turmeric paste, oatmeal bath and castor oil can be applied separately.