Brown spots and discoloration on the hands, face, neck and chest are a common concern that cosmetic dermatologists hear from their patients. Year-round sun exposure, outdoor activities, vacations at the beach practically guarantee the result of skin mottling and brown pigmentation on areas that get the most sun.

Pigmentation is the color in your skin that is produced by melanin – the natural pigment that also determines your eye and hair color. However, if too much melanin is produced in one or more areas, the result may be brown patches on your skin.

Age Spots are smaller darkened patches that are usually found on older people who have cumulative sun exposure. These spots can appear on the face, arms, chest, legs, and the backs of the hands.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation results from an inflammatory injury or trauma to the skin, such as insect bites or burns, scars, rashes, and inappropriately administered peels, laser treatments, waxing or electrolysis.  Acne, in particular, cysts or nodules, may also leave discoloration for long after after a blemish heals. Another form of pigmentation is melasma, also known as the mask of pregnancy, which is usually caused by hormonal flux.

Board certified Chevy Chase dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Kazin is highly experienced in dealing with all forms of skin pigmentation, and she offers a wide range of possible treatments. Often the most effective treatment involves combination therapy. Dr. Kazin may prescribe a topical skin lightening agent to begin, and then move to a series of glycolic peels. In some cases, she may recommend one of her lasers that targets pigment, such as the Fraxel system.

Call for a consultation with Dr. Kazin to find out the best treatment regimen for you.