Brown Spots and Melasma

Brown spots or pigmented lesions on the face, chest, legs and hands are common as skin ages.  In most cases they are caused by sun exposure and can be successfully treated or removed.

Melasma is a pigment disorder that causes brown patches on the cheeks, nose, forehead, chin, or upper lip. Hormones are thought to be a trigger and it often appears during pregnancy which is why it’s commonly referred to as “the mask of pregnancy”.  Sun exposure can make it more pronounced.  Melasma can sometimes disappear on its own after pregnancy or when hormonal triggers are eliminated, but for many the condition requires long term management.


Pigmented lesions and Melasma should carefully managed by a dermatologist who is trained to recognize their unique characteristics. Incorrect treatment can lead to complications or worsening of these conditions, which in some cases can be permanent.  Treatment options vary depending on spot type and location and can include laser resurfacing, vascular laser treatments, or peels. Vivier Hyperpigmentation System – a skincare line containing hydroquinone – is an effective topical option.  Daily use of sunscreen with an SPF of 45 or higher is critical in preventing recurrence.


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