Causes and treatment of brown spots on the skin: on the back, legs, arms, stomach. Photo

What causes skin pigmentation disorders?


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Types of age spots

The appearance of the spots varies. The following types of pigmented areas on the face and body are classified:

  • Lentigines are flat brown spots that rise slightly above the surface of the skin. They can be round and elongated, formed in the form of a single mark or a large group. They are divided into youthful and senile pigmentation.

Age-related lentigo

  • Freckles are small rashes that are considered by some as a cute feature, by others as a cosmetic defect. During the cold season, freckles may disappear.

Freckles on the face

  • Chloasma is hyperpigmentation of the skin in the form of large spots of light brown, brown or brown color with a smooth surface. Most often, chloasma is located on the face, but it can also occur on other parts of the body.


  • Nevi (birthmarks) are pigmented areas of skin with smooth edges. The color of moles varies from light to dark brown. If moles change shape and increase in size, this may be a sign of its degeneration into a malignant form.

Mole on the body


A dermatologist provides consultations on skin diseases. When examining pigmentation, he will pay attention to details such as:

  • size of education;
  • surface of the stain (smooth, rough, etc.);
  • color intensity;
  • number of rashes and location;
  • accompanying symptoms (itching, peeling, etc.).

This will help the doctor make a preliminary conclusion about what it might be. For a more accurate diagnosis, you will need to take blood tests - general and hormone tests, and possibly do an ultrasound of the liver and thyroid gland. To examine the nature of brown spots on the body, a dermatoscope will be used and scrapings will be taken from the surface of the affected areas. If necessary, the dermatologist will prescribe the patient a consultation with an endocrinologist, gastroenterologist, gynecologist and other specialists.

How to treat brown spots

It is not always possible to cure pigmentation with medication, but modern means can make the spots less noticeable. You can purchase several types of whitening preparations at the pharmacy, some of them are presented in the table.

Antifungal agentsSulfur or zinc ointment, Clotrimazole
Antibacterial agentsSalicylic and syntomycin ointment
Exfoliates and reduces melanocyte productionSalicylic-zinc paste, folic, azelaic, kojenic acid.
CreamMelanativ, Achromin
Cosmetical toolsBodyaga forte, Boro plus cream, Clearwin, Biocon cream, Vitex mask.

The desired result can be achieved by using the listed remedies for about 4-8 weeks.

Salon treatments for hyperpigmentation

Salon therapy sessions are recommended as the fastest way to eliminate pigment disorders.

Cosmetologists can offer several ways to remove stains:

  1. Laser grinding. It is considered a highly effective procedure. The session is carried out mainly for the face. Under the action of a laser beam, melanin is destroyed, the problem area turns red, and then the skin becomes its normal color.
  2. Chemical peeling. It will help radically solve the problem of brown spots using an acidic composition (salicylic or triacetic). After 3-10 sessions, a significant result is noticeable.

  3. Phototherapy. Thanks to pulsed waves, the skin is lightened, the result is noticeable from the first use. Infrared radiation destroys melanin and does not damage the epithelium.
  4. Mesotherapy. The procedure consists of subcutaneous administration of a drug according to an individual prescription. In addition to the brightening effect, the technique rejuvenates and is considered less traumatic than laser resurfacing.

Despite the advantages of the procedures, there are contraindications that should be reviewed during consultation with a specialist.

Why do brown spots appear?

Brown spots on the skin are a result of increased production of melanin in the skin of the body. When the level of melanocytes increases, it leads to pigmentation disorders. This reaction is usually caused by an imbalance in metabolic processes and contributes to the development of skin disease.

An imbalance of pigments is associated not only with internal abnormalities in the functioning of organs, but is also provoked by stress and environmental factors.

The defect is caused by the following reasons:

  • Intensive production of melanin under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, especially in fair-skinned people.
  • Hormonal disorders, pregnancy, PMS, childbirth. Areas of skin may darken during pregnancy in the area of ​​the nasolabial folds on the face. The deviation is caused by hormonal changes in the body and usually disappears after childbirth in a few months.
  • Genetic factor (hereditary transmission).
  • Age-related changes associated with deterioration of body systems, decreased tissue regeneration, and slower metabolism.
  • Stress and depression disrupt the production of hormones and cause pigmentation.
  • Chemical and thermal burns, wounds and blisters leave a brown mark on the body.
  • Advanced form of acne, boils.
  • Deficiency of microelements and vitamins (especially vitamin C, copper).
  • Uncontrolled use of hormonal medications.
  • Cosmetic procedures including acid peels, Botox, hyaluron, chemical cleansing, mesotherapy. Activities can injure the skin layer and stimulate increased melanin production.
  • Diseases of the liver, stomach, kidneys, gallbladder, adrenal glands.
  • Allergic reactions to cosmetics, certain foods.

Brown spots in a child

The skin of children has a thin stratum corneum, and the tissues are intensely saturated with blood vessels. All this, combined with a weak immune system, can lead to the formation of pigmented areas on the body. Hyperpigmentation often manifests itself as freckles, nevi (giant, flaming, melanocytic, non-cellular), in the form of hemangioma, congenital coffee spots.

Brown spots on the skin are caused by a hereditary form of the disease.

These types include:

  • Neurofibromatosis type 1. Initially, café-au-lait spots are small in size, on the surface of which a cluster of freckles forms. The disease often occurs at an early age. The neglected process leads to oncological complications, on the basis of which diseases develop: respiratory tract cysts, growth retardation, formation of voids in the spinal cord, narrowing of the renal vessels, enlarged mammary glands.

  • Peutz-Jeghers disease. Pigmentation of this type affects large areas of the body, mucous membranes and leads to polyposis of internal organs. The formations are localized around the eyes, around the lips, in the anus and palms.
  • Poikiloderma. Hereditary spots are observed in infants from 3 to 5 months. Initially, hyperemia occurs in the limbs, face, and neck. Then atrophic pigment changes form on the affected area.
  • Urticaria pigmentosa. This form of pigmentation can trigger the development of mastocytosis. A small dark red spot leads to the formation of vesicular inflammations filled with fluid. At the completion stage, the bubbles open, and in their place brown areas remain, which disappear after a few months. If left untreated, urticaria can cause disability or death. Pathology can be triggered by climatic conditions, stress, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, weak immunity, infectious and inflammatory processes.

Older children are susceptible to mastocytosis, allergic pigmentation, intradermal and borderline pigmentary nevus, as well as impaired melanin production (hypomelanosis). Deviations can manifest themselves in the form of diseases: albinism, vitiligo, Ito hypomelanosis.

A diagnostic examination is carried out using a dermatoscope, pigmentation is examined under ultraviolet radiation (Wood's lamp). In serious cases, computer diagnostics and biopsy tissue analysis are performed, followed by histological examination.

Treatment of pigment spots in children does not involve the use of lightening and whitening preparations containing hormonal components. At the age of 6-7 years, it is allowed to treat pigmented areas with parsley, lemon, and cucumber juice. If removal of the formation is required, then surgical method, laser therapy, electrocoagulation or cryotherapy are used.

Where can brown spots be located?

Pigmented areas can be located throughout the body. The nature of the disease depends on the location of the defect.

Localization of spots is as follows:

  • Face and area around the nose, chin and mouth. It manifests itself mainly in women experiencing reproductive disorders.
  • Knee joints, toes. An indicator of thyroid imbalance. More often seen in men.
  • Area of ​​the palms, arms and wrists. Caused by senile changes in which metabolism is disrupted. The marks often have a bluish tint.
  • Neck and shoulder area. At a young age, the pigment appears as a consequence of tanning; at an older age, after the age of 45, it indicates lentigo.
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