Brown Spots and Hyperpigmentation

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Hyperpigmentation \ brown spots

What causes brown spots, and how can i get rid of theM?

Brown spots (aka hyperpigmentation, melasma, freckles, age spots, liver spots, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) are the result of an overproduction of melanin. Melanin is the substance that provides color to the skin and protects it from the sun.

Differences in skin color among individuals and populations is caused by variation in pigmentation as the result of genetics and differences in environment (exposure to the sun/ultraviolet radiation).

Darker skin tones’ melanin production provides considerable protection from sun damage and photoaging. However, they can have more melanin-related skin problems.

Brown spots can appear anywhere on the body, but is most commonly found on sun-exposed areas. Brown spots often begin to appear after years of sun exposure, even if you no longer tan or use sunscreen.

brown spots and hyperpigmentation treatment Scottsdale

types of hyperpigmentation

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post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) caused by pimples, burns, scratches or other minor skin traumas triggers excess melanin production. This leaves behind a dark patch that can last for months or even permanently. Sometimes skin trauma can cause hypopigmentation, or “white spots”, that are permanent. 


Often known as the “pregnancy mask”, is characterized by splotchy, pigmented areas, usually on the face.  As a result, this affects women more often than men and is most prominent in Skin of Color individuals.

Factors that stimulate the types and amounts of melanin production are genetically determined and influenced by hormonal changes, inflammation, age and exposure to ultraviolet light. This makes melasma stubborn and hard to eliminate. A customized skin-care approach including a combination of an anti-inflammatory diet, balancing of hormones, topical products and treatments, can result in clearer, more even skin tone. 


Lentigo simply means one freckle; lentigenes are multiple freckles.

Solar lentigenes (known as sun spots, age spots, liver spots)

Widely known as sun spots, age spots and liver spots, range from light brown to black in color. They usually appear on sun-exposed areas of the body.

Precancerous lesion

Also known as Actinic Keratosis, is a change in some area of your skin that carries the risk of turning into skin cancer. Lesions can be skin colored, pink, red or brown. They are typically rough, dry patches that can become raised and hard. They can grow up to a centimeter or two in diameter. Caused by years of sun exposure and damage, precancerous lesions are often seen on the face, back of hands, chest, arms and lower legs.

How to tackle uneven skin tone and brown spots

Chemical peels

Chemical Peels can be very effective at reducing brown spots/hyperpigmentation, melasma and post- inflammatory hyperpigmentation and freckles on all skin types.  There are different types and strengths of chemical peels that can be used to help with discoloration. Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA), salicylic acid, glycolic acid, retinoic acid, lactic acid and mandelic acid are a few of the most popular. Which type of acid peel and strength/percentage is determined at each appointment and is based on what the individual skin’s needs and the client’s needs at that time. 

For example, we are not going to apply a chemical peel to an individual going to the beach in a week, or getting married in a a week regardless of how well the skin would respond from it.  We would not apply a medium depth peel to a person with Skin of Color who has never had a peel and does not have the correct products to care for it properly.  Pregnant women and breast-feeding women cannot have chemical peels.

It is important to start conservatively on darker skin tones (Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, African American, and other dark-skinned ethnicities), as overaggressive peels may cause more skin discoloration.

In addition to chemical peels, appropriate skin care products are necessary for optimal results.  Celebrity Skin uses pharmaceutical/cosmeceutical grade skin care products that contain higher concentrations of active ingredients, are higher quality and are targeted to treat specific skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation. It is important to know the difference between over-the-counter (OTC) products and buying skin care products from clinical licensed professionals.

Alpha or beta hydroxyl acid

A product that contains glycolic, salicylic, retinoic, lactic or mandelic acid.  This will help lift and shed darkened dead skin cells, smooth out texture, help with pores, help to prevent blemishes, and stimulate collagen and elastin, and is great for scarring, fine lines and wrinkles!  

Vitamin c

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant to helps protect against free radical damage that contribute to fine lines, wrinkles and discoloration.  Warning: if you are prone to acne breakouts, be careful which Vitamin C you choose (if any) because it could prompt a breakout.

Melanin suppressants (bleaching creams)

Helps to regulate the melanocyte (cell that produces the discoloration) from producing too much color to producing the correct amount of color.  Hydroquinone is one of the more popular “bleaching” creams, but has some concerning side effects associated with using it. I suggest using a safer hydroquinone alternative that produces great results with time and consistency.

A physical sunscreen spf30 or greater

Sunscreen is essential to help protect the sun’s rays from triggering your melanin to produce color. Physical sun blocks block sun better than chemical sun blocks and contain less inflammatory chemicals in them.

Custom services for hyperpigmentation and brown spots

* All hyperpigmentation treatment protocols can and will be customized for your specific needs and skin tone

Everyone’s skin is different. The best thing is to do is book a New Client Consultation + Treatment to discuss and personalize your treatment with products to meet your individual needs.

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