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Brown Spots

What are brown spots on the skin?

Brown spots, also known as age spots, sun spots, and liver spots, are caused by an excess production of melanin on the skin. They can appear on the face, hands, chest and other areas of the body that are frequently exposed to the sun.

While these marks are often harmless and not a health concern, they can be unsightly and cause people to feel self-conscious about their appearance. They are common in older adults but can occur at any age.

Brown spots on the skin can be caused by a variety of things. Sun exposure is one of the most common causes, as UV rays stimulate melanin production and cause dark patches to form in specific areas. Hormonal changes with age, hormone replacement therapy, pregnancy and birth control pills, and certain medications can also cause brown spots on the skin. Aging is another factor due to sun damage that accumulates over time and leads to discoloration. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available to reduce their appearance or even remove them altogether.

Treatment options include:

Sun protection

Using sunscreen and limiting sun exposure can prevent new age spots from forming and can also make existing age spots less noticeable.

Topical treatments

There are several over-the-counter creams and gels that contain ingredients like hydroquinone, salicylic acid, vitamin C or retinol brighten the skin and can help to fade these discoloration. Each ingredient can work alone but work best in combination. But beware, lightening products can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays so sunscreen is essential.


Involves freezing the spots with liquid nitrogen. This kills the skin cells and creates a scab that will fall off within a week without scarring.

Laser treatment

Intense pulsed light (IPL) or laser therapy uses light energy to destroy the cells that produce pigment and remove the spots.

Chemical peels

A chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove the top layer of cells, which can help to fade age spots and even out skin tone.

Brown spots are primarily a cosmetic concern that can be remedied with camouflage and removed with simple cosmetic procedures available at Dr. Devorah Shagalov’s Miami office.

Contact her to schedule a consultation to learn about all your treatment options that can help you achieve a clearer complexion and younger-looking appearance. Dr. Devorah Shagalov is a board-certified dermatologist and a dual fellowship trained Mohs surgeon and Cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to help you achieve beautiful and healthy skin. Biscayne Dermatology is located in Midtown Miami on the border of Edgewater and Wynwood a few blocks from the Design District, Miami Beach, and Downtown Miami.

At a Glance

Dr. Devorah Shagalov

  • Double Board-Certified Dermatologist
  • Fellowship-Trained Mohs Micrographic Surgeon
  • Recipient of numerous dermatology awards
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