How do you treat brown spots on your skin?


Quick Answer

Brown spot treatments include prescription bleaching creams, medical procedures and over-the-counter creams, as listed by Healthline. Depending on the case, these treatments result in the reduction or permanent removal of brown spots, according to Mayo Clinic.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

All the prescription bleaching creams contain hydroquinone, alone or in combination with retinoids and a mild steroid, says Mayo Clinic. It takes several months for bleaching creams to lighten brown spots and smooth skin texture gradually, as stated by Healthline. During this treatment, the skin is more susceptible to damage from ultraviolet light exposure, so the use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high sun protection factor is necessary, indicates Mayo Clinic.

There are also various medical procedures, but they may have side effects, so the decision for such a treatment must be careful and consistent with the advice of a dermatologist with relevant training and experience, as Mayo Clinic notes. Laser and intense pulsed light therapies usually take several weeks or months to complete. They have a few side effects, such as skin discoloration, but they destroy the cells which produce the excess melanin responsible for brown spots without any damage to the skin’s surface. Chemical peels and dermabrasion remove the outer layer of the skin, and a new one grows in its place, says Healthline. Another option is cryosurgery which freezes brown spots with liquid nitrogen. This procedure may irritate the skin and in some rare cases causes permanent scarring or discoloration, warns Mayo Clinic.

Finally, there is a variety of over-the-counter creams, but they may not be as effective in removing brown spots as other kinds of treatment. They should contain certain substances to produce the desired result, such as hydroquinone or kojic acid, indicates Healthline.

Learn more about Skin Blemishes

Related Questions