Q. I have brown spots on my face. What could it be and how do I fix it? 

A. Brown spots are one of the most common problems patients come to me to evaluate and treat. And it has become one of my favorite things to help people solve. I always practice an integrative skin care approach when caring for this concern. 

Brown spots can be benign sun spots or growths on the surface of the skin. We accumulate them from the sun exposure we have had since we were babies and they continue to develop over time. 

There are malignant (cancerous) brown spots that can occur such as melanoma. It is crucial to have your spots evaluated to distinguish this potentially life-threatening condition from the harmless sun spots. 

Benign sun spots can be treated beautifully. One of my favorite ways to treat is to combine in-office procedures such as Fraxel (my personal favorite) or Intense Pulsed Light with brightening agents, retinol and dark spot correctors. I often create a personalized Custom D.O.S.E. serum for patients to create a simple solution at home. 

Winter is the VERY BEST time of year to treat since we have less sun exposure and ultraviolet light.


Q. I was diagnosed with Melasma, what can I do to make my skin more even? 

A. Melasma is a very common condition of the skin that produces splotchy pigmentation on the face and worsens in the presence of even a small amount of sunlight and blue light. It is commonly seen in women following pregnancy or in association with hormonal birth control. I have seen an increasing amount of melasma in my practice and always use a customized integrative skin care regimen. Patients have been overjoyed and happily tearful by their results. 

In order to best treat melasma, I perform Fraxel laser and integrate it with the most effective topical ingredients for daily use at home. Home care should always include a tinted mineral SPF 50 (because the tinted ingredients, called iron oxides, protect from blue light), a potent antioxidant serum that fights pigment, and a dark spot corrector. I often use a customized serum containing retinol and brightening agents as well. Another mandatory (and fashionable) piece is a broad-rimmed glam hat to shade the face from daily UV light exposure. 

Warnings: The blue light emitted from our mobile devices is worsening melasma! And melasma is a chronic condition that is best treated in the winter when the UV light is at a minimum. It requires maintenance when springtime and summer comes to minimize recurrence. It will come back with even a slight exposure to UV and blue light. But don’t let that stop you…melasma 

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