Brown Spots (Solar Lentigos and Freckles)
Solar Lentigos, also known as “sun spots,” “age spots” or “liver spots” are flat painless tan to brown to black deposits of melanin pigment in the skin that develop many years after long-term sun exposure during your lifetime. Most often seen on the face, chest, arms and legs, they can occur in any chronically sun exposed site. The term "liver spot" is actually a misnomer since these spots are not caused by liver problems or liver disease.
Freckles appear in children and adults more immediately after sun exposure. They are not in themselves a sign of old age. Instead, they appear generally on sun-exposed areas, more so in people who have a genetic tendency to develop them (fair skin, light colored eyes). They are however an early warning sign of sun damage in the skin and indicate the need for more frequent use of sunscreen and sun protective measures in general.
Dr. Heather Roberts emphasizes the use of daily sunscreen first and foremost in all her patients to prevent these brown spots from forming in the first place. However, once these brown spots appear she uses a variety of lasers including Photofacials, chemical peeling agents, cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen) and sometimes topical bleaching remedies for these common conditions.