Brown Spots On Face

Brown Spots On Face: Causes, Picture, Symptoms and Treatment

Brown spots on face can make your visual appearance look less appealing. It is can bring people’s focus on the spots. So, you may feel ashamed to step outside. The spots are also known as hyperpigmentation, which can affect you at any point in life. In most cases, people suffer from the issue win their middle age. It is also known as age spots, liver spots or solar lentigines depending on the underlying cause. The brown spots may appear oval in shape. It is mostly harmless. So, you never have to worry about severe health complication. In the majority of people, the spots may appear as a result of exposure to the sun, side effects of medication, pregnancy or other skin condition. But, always seek your doctor’s opinion to eliminate the possibility of risk factors. It will help you detect any underlying health issue triggering the problem. Your doctor can also suggest the treatment options available to remove or lighten the problem. Therefore, consult your doctor for getting apt suggestions.

Symptoms Of Brown Spots On Face

You may see dark brown colored, flat spots on the face. It may cause no other signs in your body. The oval-shaped spots can also appear black in color depending on the skin tone of a person. The spots develop due to sun exposure. Therefore, you can see the spots on other parts of your body like:

  • Your back
  • The back of your hands
  • Your arms
  • The shoulder region

brown spots on face

It is usually small in shape and appears individually or in several groups. When several small spots group together, it can give a darkened appearance to your skin. So, the larger area of skin discoloration can cause embarrassment to you. You may feel the urge to hide it using makeup products like concealers. It can only hide it for a short duration of time. The excessive makeup use can also harm your skin. So, you need a permanent solution to tackle the problem. Therefore, visit your skin specialist to get advice depending on the severity of your issue.

Causes Of Brown Spots On Face

The face is the mirror of your reflection or personality. But, it is also at risk of skin damage due to various reasons. So, the brown spots on the face can occur at any point in your life. You may not feel like taking any action when you see one or two spots. But, as time progresses, the increasing spots can cause concern. The excess production or accumulation of melanin in your skin can lead to dark spots. Melanin is the skin pigment that darkens your skin tone. The free radical damage can also result in the spots formation. Therefore, the underlying causes that result in the issue are:

Exposure To UV Rays

The prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation can lead to brown spots on face. It can occur from a natural or artificial source. So, sunlight or tanning beds can trigger the problem. In most people, the problem appears in their middle age. It can particularly affect you when you avoid using sunscreen or other sun-protective steps. Hyperpigmentation can affect the quality of your skin. So, you may lose the glow and appeal.

Skin Conditions

Some skin diseases can also result in brown spots. It is not the same as the aging spots. For the skin problems, you need to consult your dermatologist as soon as possible. So, the skin issues triggering the appearance of spots are:

You have to see your dermatologist to eliminate the possibility of cancerous problems. The doctor can also provide you with treatment options.


Certain medication can make your skin hypersensitive. So, when you expose your face to the sun while taking the medication, it results in dark spots. You need to maintain caution while taking medications like:

  • Medicines containing estrogens
  • Broad-spectrum antibiotics like tetracycline
  • Medicines prescribed to treat irregular heartbeat
  • Anticonvulsant containing phenytoin
  • Medicines that contain phenothiazines provided for treating mental and emotional disorders
  • Medications used to treat infection, which consists of sulfonamides.

Underlying Health Issues

Some health problem or the change in the hormones in your body can trigger the development of dark spots. So, the health reasons contributing to the issue are:

Diagnosis Of Brown Spots On Face

Any unexplained spots or rash on your body needs immediate medical attention. Some may not cause any health problem, but others can indicate a severe health issue. Cancers can cause brown spots on face as well as other parts of the body. Your dermatologist can perform some tests to detect the actual problem. So, the different techniques used for conclusive diagnosis are:

Physical Examination

Your doctor or dermatologist can detect the actual reason for the brown spots with a thorough examination. So, the visual examination can help come to a conclusive diagnosis of the condition.



When your doctor finds the spots suspicious, you need further testing. Your doctor needs to distinguish it from other serious conditions like lentigo maligna. It is the type of skin cancer that can prove fatal. So, your doctor can take the sample of the skin tissue. It is tested in the lab and assessed under a microscope. The assessment will provide information regarding the presence of cancerous cells. For undergoing biopsy, your doctor may use a local anesthetic.

Treatment Option For Brown Spots On Face

The spots on your face may dampen your visual appeal. You always like to look great to have self-confidence. Therefore, the brown spots on the face can affect your self-esteem. It can pull you away from your social circle. And you may use unwanted cosmetics to cover the spots. It may have long-term side effects on your skin. Therefore, you need to get treatment for the spots to get back your confidence. The apt treatment helps remove the spots completely and make your skin clear. The doctor can suggest the following treatment option depending on the severity of the issue:

Topical Treatment Options

Your dermatologist may suggest bleaching creams that you can buy using the prescription. It can gradually diminish the visual appearance of the brown spots on the skin. But, the product can take time to see the effect. So, you need to wait for at least a few months to see the changes on your skin. The bleaching cream contains the ingredient known as hydroquinone. It is the active ingredient that works on your skin and prevents the production of melanin. But, you can use the bleaching creams only for a short period of time. Using it for long duration can result in the developing carcinogen in your body. At higher concentration, the carcinogen can develop into cancer or other fatal complications.

Your doctor can also suggest over-the-counter products to treat the brown spots on the face and other parts of the body. The over-the-counter products can only diminish the prominent appearance of the spots on your skin. So, it may not completely eliminate the spots from your skin. When you buy the product, look for ingredients in it. The creams must contain the following:

  • Glycolic Acid
  • Retinoids
  • Deoxyarbutin
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid
  • Kojic Acid

Remember the products can trigger some unwanted effects on your skin. Always use the cream as suggested by the doctor. At times you can experience some issues like redness, swelling or skin irritation. Consult your doctor when you see such issues. With the use of the creams, your skin can become sensitive. It is due to the abrasive nature of the ingredients in the cream. Therefore, you need to protect your skin from the sun rays and subsequent complication. Always wear sunscreen to avoid UV exposure. Buy a sunscreen with SPF and use it throughout the treatment to prevent problems.

Cosmetic Procedures

You can opt for a medical procedure to treat the severe dark spots. It is not the best option for people with sensitive skin. But, others can consult their doctor regarding the option. The cosmetic procedures used in conjunction with topical cream can provide good results. So, you can choose from different options like:

Laser Treatment Or Intense Pulse Light Therapies

The treatment uses the focused light to remove the problems on your skin. It removes the skin layer by layer. So, you can see the brown spots on the face vanishing. The light rays destroy the melanocytes, the melanin-producing cells from your skin’s surface. The light therapy may not damage the skin surface but removes the spots. It shows an effect after undergoing some session. So, you can see the dark spots vanishing after 2 or 3 sessions. For the spots to disappear completely, you have to wait for several week or months.

The laser therapy may have some unwanted side effects that you need to know. It can cause swelling or discoloration on your skin. You also need to use sun protection while undergoing therapy. The laser treatment can make your skin highly sensitive. Therefore, you need to protect your skin from the sun’s rays by using a sunscreen with SPF.

Chemical Peels

You can undergo chemical peel that uses applying an acid. The acid can burn the outer part of your skin. So, it removes the brown spots on face as the outer layer peels off. The chemical peels mostly contain salicylic acid as well as glycolic acid. It removes the old skin and reveals the healthier, toned skin from the inner surface. So, you see visible results after a few sittings. Remember you may not see an immediate change to your skin. You have to wait for the dark spots to disappear. While undergoing chemical peel, you need to use a sunscreen with SPF to prevent other skin problems. You can experience side effects with the chemical peel like:

  • Skin Irritation
  • Temporary Redness
  • Permanent Skin Color Change (rare cases)



Dermabrasion refers to sanding down your skin surface to remove the brown spots. The method erodes the skin surface physically using a rotator brush. So, it reveals the new skin layer that has no spots. Microdermabrasion is the comparatively less aggressive approach for a smooth looking skin. It can eradicate mild skin blemishes. You need to undergo several sittings to see visible results. But, remember you may experience side effects like scab formation and redness due to the procedure. Your doctor can suggest the technique if you have no red veins (rosacea) on your face. So, the series of procedure over a few months can see visible effects on your face. It provides a smoother and younger-looking skin. So, you can choose from the two options available:

  • Crystal Microdermabrasion

As the name suggests, it uses a crystal to rub on your skin. So, it uses a machine that emits crystals through its wand. The crystals can scrape the skin cells to give you a new layer of skin.

  • Diamond Tipped Microdermabrasion

It uses a diamond Microderm machine that comes with a wand of varied size as well as coarseness. So, it suits people of different skin tones. Irrespective of the depths of resurfacing, the diamond microdermabrasion can eliminate the skin spots. The non-invasive procedure is a pain-free procedure to eradicate the spots. So, the tip of the wand with natural diamond can serve the purpose of scraping the dead cells. It also polishes the skin and makes it look new. It is a low-risk technique with some side effects like pinkish skin for some time.


You can use the cotton-tipped swabs to apply freezing agents to fade the brown spots on face. It uses liquid nitrogen to destroy the extra pigment affecting your body. It can peel away the darkened skin that causes the spots. After the area heals, it appears lighter without any spots. Your doctor can suggest it when you have a single or several groups of brown spots. But, the problem can cause temporary irritation. It also can problems with permanent discoloration or scarring of the treated area. Therefore, you need to consult your dermatologist before undergoing the treatment option.

Home Remedies For Brown Spots On Face

You can try the home remedies when you come to the absolute conclusion that the brown spots cause no harm to your health. If the brown spots on face are not severe, you can try some home remedies. Remember the home remedies may not eliminate the spots completely.

Apply Lemon Juice

Applying the lemon on the spots can break down the melanin pigment. The acid in the lemon juice is responsible for it. So, it can reduce the appearance within a few months. Vitamin C in the lemon juice has a bleaching effect on the skin. Limit sun exposure while applying the lemon juice to prevent complications.

Papaya Face Mask

You can scoop papaya and apply it on your face. Vitamin C in the fruit lightens the appearance of the spots and makes your skin glowing.


Application of yogurt can lighten the brown spots on the face without any side effects. The dairy product can lighten the skin. Apart from that, it contains the good bacteria, which can break the melanin underneath the skin causing the spots.

Castor Oil

Castor Oil
Source :

Castor oil contains antioxidants that can replenish the skin and lighten the spots marring the beauty of your skin.

It is always advised to get the opinion of your dermatologist before using any products. It will help you come up with the right plan and eliminate the possibility of serious issues.

Prevention Of Brown Spots On Face

As you age, the chances of getting dark spots on your face increases. Therefore, you need to take the right steps that will prevent the issue from occurring. So, you can take steps to avoid dark spots and prevent them from returning again. The following steps can help you with the quest:

Use Sunscreen

Use Sunscreen
Source :

The harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun can affect your skin in an adverse manner. It can play a significant role in developing the age spots or brown spots on face. So, you need to protect your skin by using the sunscreen. You have to apply it diligently to avoid problems. Remember to reapply it every two hours. You need to apply it earlier when you sweat a lot or go for a swim. So, make sure to choose a sunscreen with good SPF.

Protect Yourself

You need to cover yourself when you go out in the broad sunlight. The ultraviolet radiation in the sunlight can affect your skin adversely. Therefore, try to wear a hat/cap when you venture outdoors. Wear full sleeves and pants to cover your skin. You can also use SPF fabrics to protect yourself from the harmful wrath of sunlight.

Avoid Peak Hours

You need to avoid exposing yourself to sunlight at its peak time. UV exposure increases between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. every day.


The brown spots on the face can occur as you age or due to exposure to sunlight. It may not harm your health. But, you need to confirm it with your dermatologist to eliminate the possibility of other serious health issues. At times, the spots can lead to a change in your skin color. The color change along with other signs like itching, bleeding, and redness may indicate cancerous presence. Skin cancer (like solar lentigines develop into lentigo maligna melanoma) due to prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause fatal complications. Therefore, getting the right advice from the doctor can eliminate the dangers linked to the problem. It also helps you get a good treatment plan for faster elimination of the spots.

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