Brown spots cover a wide range of skin conditions. These include completely benign pigmentation, cancerous growths, and pre-cancerous lesions. They go by many names, including moles, freckles, age spots, and liver spots.
At the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana, we diagnose brown spots and provide treatments and skin care products to help fade unwanted freckles or problematic, worrisome moles.
Types of Brown Spots
While many brown spots are completely harmless, strictly cosmetic concerns, others require expert evaluation and diagnosis by a board-certified dermatologic surgeon. Even moles that you have had since birth should be checked throughout your life for changes that could indicate a possible malignancy.
Here are some of the types of brown spots we diagnose and treat at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana:
- Age spots/seborrheic keratoses
- Freckles and moles
- Pre-cancerous lesions
- Skin cancer
- Malignant melanoma
Age Spots/Seborrheic Keratoses
Age spots, also known as seborrheic keratoses, are completely benign growths on the skin. These spots can be raised or flat and most often appear on the face, neck, and chest.
Freckles and Moles
The most common types of brown spots, freckles and moles appear most often on fair skinned individuals who have experienced sun damage. In these cases, you should seek yearly skin checks from a board-certified dermatologic surgeon to monitor skin changes that can lead to skin cancer.
You can also be born with moles. While these are harmless, you should have them checked regularly if they are larger than the size of a pencil eraser. These moles can change and exhibit signs of pre-cancer or cancerous lesions. See a dermatologic surgeon regularly to ensure regular skin checks.
Precancerous lesions are brown spots that are likely to become cancerous in the future. We advise having these growths evaluated and removed before skin cancer is diagnosed. The most common type of precancerous lesions are actinic keratoses, which we can evaluate and treat here in our Indianapolis dermatology practice.
Brown spots that were once benign can become cancerous, and all new brown spots should be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologic surgeon. Yearly skin checks ensure early detection, and early detection saves lives.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the United States, but it’s also the easiest to diagnose and treat with early detection. Schedule a skin evaluation with Dr. C. William Hanke at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana.
Melanoma is a fast growing, deadly skin cancer. It spreads rapidly and can even move into other areas of the body. With early diagnosis and treatment, patient recovery rates are very high. To ensure early detection and removal, see a dermatologic surgeon for annual skin evaluations, and schedule additional appointments if you notice a change in one of your brown spots.
What to Expect During Your Dermatology Appointment
We recommend annual skin checks for all patients, especially if you have visible brown spots, have a history of sun damage, and/or are fair skinned and prone to burning. If you have a more extensive history of sun damage, such as excessive tanning or blistering sunburns, you may need to be seen more frequently.
Don’t wait for your next skin check appointment if you see new brown spots or changes in skin spots. Schedule an appointment right away so Dr. Hanke can evaluate the changes in these lesions and, if necessary, test for skin cancer.
Upon entering the examination room, you will be asked to change into a medical gown. This will allow your dermatologist to thoroughly examine your skin. You will be given an opportunity to express any concerns about specific lesions on your skin, including red, black, tan, white, and brown spots.
A dermatologist will check your skin from your scalp to the soles of your feet. The most vulnerable areas will be checked more closely, including the shoulders, tops of your feet, and your calves. We make take photos to document how your skin appears and track changes.
Diagnosing Brown Spots
If we are concerned that a particular lesion is cancerous or precancerous, we will request a biopsy be taken right away. This is a quick procedure that can be completed the same day as your skin examination. It requires very little prep and can be completed right in our office in the same room as your examination. If we recommend this procedure, we will explain what you can expect thoroughly before we get started.
If we determine that your brown spots are harmless, we can discuss cosmetic treatments to fade and eliminate unwanted brown spots. Many of these treatments will require a new appointment and a series of treatments to see results.
Why Choose the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana for the Treatment of Brown Spots?
By seeking treatment at a licensed dermatology practice, you ensure that your skin is evaluated and cared for by a board-certified dermatologic surgeon. Our team of aestheticians and dermatology providers are supervised by Dr. C. William Hanke, ensuring that your medical and cosmetic care and managed in tandem at the direction of a board-certified dermatologist.
Our practice provides medical dermatologic care and cosmetic dermatology treatments in addition to skin care services. Furthermore, we are home to a licensed clinical trials facility that leads research efforts into new treatment protocols, technologies, and prescriptions for medical and cosmetic dermatology.
Treatments for Brown Spots in Indianapolis at the LASSI
If your brown spots are benign (not cancer or precancer), our team may recommend non-surgical cosmetic procedures at the LASSI or aesthetic treatments inside of LASSI Skin. Following a thorough consultation, we may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- Eskata, a new treatment for raised age spots
- Chemical peels
- Laser skin resurfacing
Eskata is a revolutionary dermatology procedure that utilizes a small pen application without needles or lasers, treating specific types of brown spots known as raised seborrheic keratoses. These are noncancerous, raised brown spots or age spots that are medically insignificant. The pen is used to apply a topical medication and, after a few applications over a set period of time, the raised brown spots are faded and the bump is smoothed down.
Chemical peels target the top layer of skin to speed up cellular turnover. This is useful for exfoliation as well as treatment of skin conditions, impurities, and visible imperfections. Brown spots can respond well to certain chemical peels. Chemical peels are often part of a recommended combination therapy.
Hydradermabrasion is water-powered microdermabrasion. We use HydraFacial, which combines a facial, microdermabrasion, and chemical peel in a single facial treatment. HydraFacial is customized based on the needs of the patient, including the reduction of brown spots as well as uneven skin tone and texture. Hydrafacials are recommended every 1-3 months and may be part of a treatment program prescribed by our providers.
Microneedling, AKA Collagen Induction Therapy
Microneedling creates micro-injuries to the skin, encouraging rapid collagen and elastin production for healing and cellular turnover. With a series of treatments, brown spots can fade, revealing more even skin tone and texture.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) photofacials, Forever Young BBL (broadband light), and Blue-U photodynamic therapy can both be used to even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of brown spots. For raised brown spots, IPL may not work well.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing comes in many varieties; for sun damage, we use a CO2 laser for laser skin resurfacing. This will take care of all types of sun damage, including hyperpigmentation, freckles, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Visit the LASSI to Treat Brown Spots in Indianapolis
Are you ready to reduce the appearance of brown spots on the face, hands, or elsewhere on the body? Schedule a consultation at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana today. Dr. Hanke and our team of dermatology experts in Indianapolis look forward to speaking with you about your concerns and helping you look and feel your best.