Brown spots on the skin, also called hyperpigmented lesions, can develop for a variety of reasons.

Skin that has been chronically exposed to sunlight can develop a rough texture and brown areas called lentigines or "age spots".

Brown spots on a boy's face before treatmentBrown spots on boy's face after treatmentBrown spots on hand before treatment Brown spots on hand after treatmen

Some brown spots, such as actinic keratoses (AK), can represent precancerous conditions and should be evaluted by a physician.

There are a variety of treatment options for brown spots on the skin, including the following:

  • Hydroquinone, a bleaching agent that is applied to the skin
  • Tri-Luma®, a prescription medication that combines several active ingredients for the treatment of melasma ("mask of pregnancy")
  • Chemical peels
  • Dermabrasion
  • Laser and light therapies

Your doctor will recommend a treatment based on the underlying cause of the brown spot, its location, the number and size of brown spots and other variables.


Last updated February 12, 2012.

Images courtesy of Gerald Goldberg, M.D.

This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your personal medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional.

Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns.

Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

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