What Causes Brown Spots & How to Treat Them

What Causes Brown Spots & How to Treat Them

One of the most common skin concerns we address with our clients in the spa is skin discoloration, or what’s clinically referred to as Hyperpigmentation. People are often concerned with a form of hyperpigmentation that shows up as dark spots or patches of dark spots on the skin. In a recent episode of the “Ms. O Show,” Olivia answered the most frequently asked questions clients have about brown spots and how to treat them. Read on to get the answers or watch Olivia’s most recent “Brown Spots” episode here.

What are Brown Spots?

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition that causes patches of the skin, often on the face, to become darker than your natural skin tone. These dark patches or spots occur when an excess of melanin, the pigment that produces skin color, forms deposits in the skin.

What Causes These Brown Spots?

The most common form of hyperpigmentation is due to sun damage. These small dark patches usually appear on the hands and face, chest and arms or other areas most exposed to the sun. They are often referred to as age spots or liver spots, however medically they are called Solar Lentigines.
Melasma or Chloasma typically show up in patches and across larger areas. This is most often brought on by shifts in hormones that cause an overproduction of melanin. Pregnancy for example often brings on melasma, or “pregnancy mask.” Birth control or anything disrupting the hormones can also be a trigger.
Some people are more genetically predisposed to hyperpigmentation and freckling. It’s very common to experience a mixture of both types of spots.

Are There Other Things that Can Trigger Brown Spots?

Injury to the skin such as acne scarring or even surgery can create discoloration in the skin. It’s possible that a reaction to a medication can trigger melasma. Extreme heat has also been shown to bring on a melasma flare up, making summer an important time to avoid long heat and sun exposure. Even prolonged heat from things like saunas, steam rooms or hot yoga where there are areas of high heat can have an increasing effect on existing hyperpigmentation.

What Causes Brown Spots to Worsen?

All types of hyperpigmentation from freckles and age spots to melasma can increase and become darker and more pronounced from sun exposure. A function of melanin is to absorb the sun’s Ultraviolet rays and when it does so it deepens in color and expands. We recommend our Broad Spectrum SPF 50 as part of your daily skincare regimen. 

What Can I Do to Prevent Brown Spots?

The best way to prevent hyperpigmentation is to get serious about sun protection! Follow these steps to truly protect your skin:

  1. Wear an SPF of 30 or higher every day (even inside, even when it’s overcast)
  2. Get in the habit of wearing a hat (wide brimmed hats for best coverage)
  3. Re-apply! Re-apply! Re-apply! When you’re outside in direct sun reapply every 2 hours
  4. For extra protection on arms and chest try SPF clothing with Ultraviolet Protection (UPF)

How Do I Get Rid of My Brown Spots?

For maximum results, we recommend a professional skin consultation to identify your specific types of hyperpigmentation and a customized treatment approach. Some treatments are only available through a medical professional.

If you are in the LA area, contact us to book an in-person consultation with one of our skin specialists at the O Skin Med Spa. If you aren't close enough to visit us, we offer FREE virtual consultations to provide a customized solution wherever you are making it possible for everyone to get seen by Olivia and get her professional recommendation to help you achieve clearer, healthier and younger-looking skin. Sign up for our VIP group and send us a FB message to sign up today!

Before & After
This client received a custom series of treatments at O Skin Med Spa combined with an at-home skincare regimen to achieve results.


Are There Any At-Home Treatments?

Yes! We recommend that all our clients continue to treat and protect their skin with Olivia’s specially formulated skincare between visits. We offer a full regimen of brightening, spot correcting, and sun protecting treatments for at-home correction and protection. Learn more about our Daily Essentials, Secret Collection, and Sun Protection.

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