Irregular Spots (Brown Spots)
Many patients visit our offices throughout the NYC and Queens area because they are concerned about the appearance of irregular brown spots on their skin. There are several different types of brown spots that can occur on the skin, nearly all of them harmless. Some patients are bothered by the appearance of brown spots, as they are associated with aging and tend to give the skin an uneven tone. In order for dermatologists to treat areas of irregular pigmentation, they must identify the type of spot being treated and its cause.
Commonly referred to as hyperpigmentation, brown spots on the skin can appear for a variety of reasons. They are a common part of the aging process, but can also appear during pregnancy or as a result of certain medications. Exposure to the sun is another major factor in the development of irregular brown spots on the skin, which is why they are commonly referred to as sun spots. Other names for areas of hyperpigmentation on the skin are melasma, lentigo, and liver spots. All of these types of spots appear because melanocytes (pigment cells within the epidermis) have been stimulated to produce melanin, the pigment that gives color to our skin, eyes, and hair. The spots tend to appear most often on areas of the body that are regularly exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, chest, and hands.
In rare cases, brown spots on the skin may actually indicate a form of skin cancer known as melanoma. While rare, this type of cancer can be deadly if left untreated. Melanoma differs in appearance from liver spots and sun spots. It typically starts as a small protrusion on the skin that grows over time. The color can range from light brown to black, and it can manifest in any size and shape. Unlike sun and liver spots, melanoma usually has irregular or jagged edges, and the growth may ooze or bleed. One of the biggest indications of skin cancer is a change in size or shape as the cancer grows. If you have any brown spots on your skin that have changed in shape or size, it is important that you have the spot examined by a dermatologist immediately.
Brown spots on the skin are almost always harmless, but many patients wish to diminish their appearance to improve the overall tone and evenness of their skin. With offices in Bergen County and Nassau County, we are well positioned to help New York area residents treat irregular skin spots. Our dermatologists use a variety of methods to help minimize the appearance of brown spots, ranging from topical creams to laser treatments. Our doctors will recommend an appropriate treatment method based upon the location and extent of the irregular pigmentation being treated. Whether you wish to treat brown spots or are concerned about a grown on your skin, our experienced dermatologists will be able to assist you. Please contact one of our conveniently located offices to set up an appointment today.