Remedy for Brown Spots on Face
Once your skin starts to age, brown spots, also known as age spots or liver spots, can appear on your face, making you look older than you really are. Fortunately, many potential remedies are available for brown spots on the face, including over-the-counter and ones your dermatologist can prescribe.
Brown spots on your face result mainly from sun damage and are more common in those with fair skin, according to patient information from the American Academy of Dermatology. Since the face is exposed to the sun more often than most other body parts, the skin on the face tends to show the effects of long-term sun exposure---including brown spots---earlier. Age spots may look like over-sized freckles, but some brown spots may feel scaly to the touch. These are actinic keratoses, and if they are ignored they can become skin cancer, the AAD says.
Types of Remedies
If you have just a few brown spots on your face, you might want to try an over-the-counter remedy first. Many dermatologists recommend hydroquinone cream, which can reduce the appearance of brown spots in about a month of steady use. You might also consider a home microdermabrasion kit designed specifically for the face. Prescription-only treatments include tretinoin, a form of vitamin A, available under the brand names Retin-A and Renova.
Dermatologists also offer a growing array of other remedies for brown spots on the face. For example, non-invasive lasers---used for years to treat acne and to remove unwanted hair---also can treat brown spots on the face. Photodynamic therapy, or PDT, uses a combination of a light-sensitive medication on the face and a laser or other light source. PDT was developed to treat skin cancer, but it is showing promise in the treatment of brown spots and other problems that result from aging, the AAD says. Both these remedies also can treat the brown scaly spots known as actinic keratoses, according to the AAD.
All remedies for brown spots on the face, especially the more powerful ones available only through your dermatologist, can cause temporary side effects such as skin reddening and soreness. For example, tretinoin can cause redness, peeling and skin irritation at the application site and rarely causes a severe allergic reaction, according to consumer information on the product approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Procedures such as laser resurfacing carry their own risks, although they potentially can work effectively to remedy brown spots.
Most brown spots on the face are benign and are simply the result of too many hours spent in the sun, especially without sun screen, the AAD says. But some brown spots---especially those that look like moles---actually can be skin cancer, which, if caught early enough, is treatable. The AAD warns consumers to get any unusual or suspicious-looking brown spot on their face checked out by a dermatologist.
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