Question

Skin Discoloration

What are brown spots?

A Answers (3)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Brown spots, also called liver spots or age spots, are caused by sun exposure. They occur most often on the face, the backs of the hands, and other areas often exposed to sun. They are sometimes tan-colored rather than brown and are medically known as lentigines.

    Melasma is another type of brown spot. Melasma is caused by sun exposure and is more common in women who are pregnant or on oral contraceptives. These types of brown spots are harmless.

    In rare cases, brown spots are caused by certain hereditary illnesses. Talk to your dermatologist for more information about brown spots.
  • AEllen Marmur, MD, Dermatology, answered

    Questions about dark discoloration and brown spots (and how to remove them) are definitely the most frequently asked by patients, the press, and my friends. Hyperpigmentation is an overproduction of melanin in a certain area, as a response to UV exposure. Hypopigmentation is another sign of sun damage that results in white spots, like confetti sprinkled on the skin. This happens when the sun basically fries the melanocytes in that area and they can no longer produce pigment at all - leaving those spots especially vulnerable to sun damage.

  • ADeborah Davis, DNP, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered
    Brown spots are one of the five main signs of aging from the sun.  Most aging skin is not caused by the passing of time and chronological aging, but from the sun.  The brown spots on your face is not a function of age, but of sun exposure. 
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