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Where Did These Brown Spots Come From?

For several reasons, Your skin can develop hyperpigmented areas, appearing as brown spots or blotches. While these brown spots may or may not be a health concern, you may not like how they break up your skin's even appearance. Brown spots can show your age, as well.

Dr. Karin Harp, MD, FAAD, FASDS, Dr. Aria Vazirnia MD, MAS, FAAD, Kristin Rupert PA-C, Mary Hanna MSN, NP-BC, Sherri Anderson PA-C, Riley McCarthy RN, Lani Keene LE, and the skin care experts at Apex Dermatology provide treatment to new and existing patients from our location in Westlake Village, California.

We know all about brown spots. Regardless of their origin, talk to our team about the right treatments and therapies to erase your brown spots and restore your clear, even skin.

Causes of brown spots on your skin

Your body naturally produces melanin, which causes skin pigmentation. People with different skin colors have unique naturally-occurring melanin levels. When your skin starts producing extra melanin that there’s a potential appearance issue. There are also genetic textural growths that can appear as brown spots and are stubborn.  When this happens, brown spots or blotches appear as the excess melanin becomes visible.

There are various reasons why your skin might produce excess melanin in an exposed or triggered area. Here are some of the most common causes of brown spots.

Age spots

Previously known as liver spots, age spots typically appear on your hands and face. And, yes, these types of brown spots are associated with getting older because they are genetically motivated and appear over time.

There are also age spots that occur due to sun exposure.  These are called lentigines and are a form of “perma-freckle”. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation triggers your skin to produce excess melanin, developing age spots.  These spots can sometimes have a precancerous risk and can worsen with continued sun exposure.


Freckles tend to be brown or orange and can appear anywhere on your body. They come and go depending on sun exposure levels.  The form because some people make a pigment type called pheomelanin which tends to go with pale skin and reddish hair qualities of scalp or beard.  Your freckles may have a genetic component. Sun exposure also causes freckles and can make existing freckles become larger, more numerous, or darker in color.  Sun protection reduces the formation of freckles and fading creams, lotions or treatments can reduce them.


Melasma creates a large area of brown or gray blotches. The appearance of melasma is often described as a mask covering your face, including your forehead, cheeks, and nose.

This skin condition is often a lifelong battle requiring management and control.   It can be associated with hormone swings occurring during pregnancy. Melasma can also be triggered by sun exposure, heat exposure, inflammation, or a hormone imbalance.  It worsens with continued ultraviolet, heat or aggressive inflammatory events.

Once you understand the type of skin discoloration affecting you, you can seek effective treatment for your brown spots.

Getting rid of brown spots and restoring your skin

If you’re dealing with any of these types of brown spots or skin discoloration and want to restore your skin's even appearance, contact the Apex Dermatology team. We offer multiple types of treatments and therapies that break up areas of hyperpigmentation.

Depending on the size, location, and nature of your brown spots, as well as your unique skin care needs, your provider at Apex Dermatology may recommend treatments such as:

With the right treatments and skin care, your brown spots can fade away, returning your skin to clear, smooth perfection.

Contact us today to learn more about your options for reducing or removing brown spots at Apex Dermatology. Schedule your initial consultation appointment online, or call now to book your session.

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