Brown spots on our skinCourtesy American Academy of Dermatology
We all have mysterious brown spots on our skin, whether we were born with them or have developed them through the years as a result of sun exposure and aging. Though it’s perfectly normal to be speckled in your own unique way, it’s important to be on top of all of your skin markings so you can determine whether something’s new, growing, or changing in any way—which could be a sign of skin cancer. We asked top dermatologists to give us the 411 on the most common splotches to monitor on your skin in between checkups.
Sun spotsCourtesy American Academy of Dermatology
Caused by (you guessed it) exposure to the sun, these brown spots usually look like freckles, but tend to be larger. “After time in the sun, our cells’ melanin production goes into overdrive trying to combat UV/UB damage,” explains Dendy Engelman, MD, Manhattan-based dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon. “When a cell overproduces melanin, it causes the area to look darker, thus forming a sun spot.” The first step in treating sun spots starts with prevention: limiting exposure, and wearing sunscreen and protective gear. Chemical peels or lasers at your dermatologist’s office can help fade the spots, as well as topical products such as SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum, SkinCeutical Advanced Pigment Corrector and DRMTLGY Advanced Dark Spot Corrector.