As a host beauty editor for On Magazine, Dr. Fiona Wright has published a series of Q & A articles in response to emailed questions, sometimes with collaborations by other medical colleagues in her network. She would now like to share the information with everyone!
Q: My doctor gave me a cream for a brown patch that showed up on my face this summer. It is not working. What else can I do?
J. Feldman, Dallas
A: There are many kinds of brown spots- however the most common are caused by sun exposure. For most, these “age spots” usually appear on the face, hands, back, and feet. There are various treatments to help, and the first is usually topical creams.
Tretinoin, steroids, and glycolics are available in combination with hydroquinone to help depigment the skin. Other medications which also can help are kojic acid, niacinamide, and azelaic acid.
Your physician can also create an aggressive exfoliation treatment with liquid nitrogen, microdermabrasion, or chemical peels, but results can vary. In addition, lasers and intense pulsed lights (IPL) technology are treatment breakthroughs that can correct a variety of skin conditions, such as facial skin imperfections, the signs of photo-aging and brown spots. It can offer a safe, non-invasive solution that can be tailored to your individual condition and skin type and provide superior cosmetic results.
Management of hyperpigmentation can require a comprehensive approach. Avoidance of sun and irritants, use of sunscreen, application of depigmenting treatments, and close supervision with your doctor can, however, lead to a successful outcome.
Fiona Wright MD, Skin M.D. & Beyond