Choosing the most effective brown spot treatment in Portland
Thrive is located in Portland, OR, providing high quality antiaging and wellness enhancing therapies for patients throughout the area. Our office is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and we use premium products, to deliver the best results possible.
One of the most common complaints that we hear is brown spots on the skin. Many patients ask, “What is the most effective treatment?” The answer depends on several factors, including your skin type, any other cosmetic concerns that you wish to treat, and the type of brown spots that you are struggling with. In most cases, IPL (intense pulsed light) or chemical peel treatment is recommended.
What causes brown spots
Melanin is skin pigment, the component responsible for coloring. Ideally, melanin is uniformly distributed across an area. However, sometimes, excess amounts accumulate in a specific spot. Medically this is called hyperpigmentation. It can take many forms, as discussed below. In most cases, it is caused or aggravated by UV exposure.
Common types of hyperpigmentation include:
- Solar lentigines, more commonly called age spots, sun spots, or liver spots, are small areas of hyperpigmented skin. They can occur at any age, though they are more common in adults over 50. These spots are a cosmetic concern for many men and women, but they do not pose a health. However, skin cancer can resemble solar lentigines, so it is important that spots be accurately identified. If you have any doubts, call us for an examination.
- Melasma is sometimes referred to as pregnancy mask, is characterized by large patches of dark skin. It is most common on the face, but it can occur on other areas of the body, especially those frequently exposed to sunlight. Elevated hormones seem to be a factor in melasma, making it especially common among pregnant women.
- Ephelides, better known as freckles, are small dark spots that develop or worsen after sun exposure. They are most common in fair-skinned people. Freckles are harmless and considered attractive by some. However, some people intensely dislike their freckles.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a skin reaction to injury. It commonly occurs after severe acne has healed, and it may be mistakenly called acne scarring. However, PIH is flat, whereas acne scars are either raised or indented.
IPL for brown spots
IPL is a light-based treatment, but it is not a laser. The difference is that laser devices emit a powerful single-wavelength light. IPL works with broad spectrum light, which is filtered to target specific skin components. Additionally, the light is applied in short pulses, making it gentler than most laser procedures.
When used for the treatment of brown spots, IPL is adjusted to target pigment. It does not zap away the spots instantly. Instead, it triggers a skin reaction that causes upper layers to slough off over the next several days, revealing fresher and more uniformly colored skin. There is no downtime and minimal discomfort following IPL treatment. A series of several sessions may be needed to achieve optimal results.
Chemical peels for brown spots
Despite the plethora of new technology in aesthetic medicine, some of the longest-standing skin treatments are still incredibly effective. Chemical peels have been used in some form since the days of the legendary beauty Cleopatra, who is said to have bathed in sour milk (a primitive lactic acid peel). The formulas and techniques have evolved and advanced dramatically through history, but one thing remains the same. Chemical peels are equally beloved by modern legendary beauties.
A versatile treatment, the ingredients and strength of peels can be adjusted to your specific needs. For treatment of brown spots, we typically recommend Rejuvenize, Illuminize, or Vitalize peels. They work by penetrating the surface of the skin, stimulating rapid exfoliation. As skin is shed, so are many skin flaws, including excess pigmentation.
Some peels have no downtime, while others require a bit more recovery. This depends on the depth of the peel. Milder peels may require a series of treatments to achieve optimal results. During your consultation, we will explain your options, devise a customized treatment plan, and discuss what you should expect during and after the procedure.
The best choice
This depends on many individual factors. What is most effective for another patient might not be a good choice for you. The reverse is also true. The best way to discover the ideal solution for you is to visit Thrive for a consultation. Call us at (503) 928-6505 to schedule.