Have you ever wondered what those brown spots on your hands are; do you think that they are sunspots or age spots? Do you have questions about getting rid of them, if so it is actually easier than you think. The brown spots found on the backs of the hands, forearms, and faces are called lentigines. These are benign spots that come with time and sun damage. However with new procedures that are available we can turn back the hands of time, and remove those unsightly spots. All brown spots on the skin should be seen by a dermatologist before having them removed. This is important to make sure no abnormal moles or melanomas are removed accidentally.
Lentigines are brown spots that most commonly occur in the mid thirties in patients with fair skin, and that have endured chronic sun exposure. These spot are usually found on the cheeks, nose, forehead, hands, and forearms. Although they are caused by the sun they are not skin cancers or pre-cancers. Seborrheic keratosis are also benign growths that can start in the mid to late thirties but proceed throughout life. They are brown raised lesions that have a rough texture on top. They range in size from one millimeter to five millimeters and they can be found anywhere on the body. Some patients express symptoms of itching around these lesions and they can be irritated by clothing. Although these lesions are benign some patients prefer to have them removed which ca be done by minor procedures in the office.
What are the treatment options for removal?
There are a few different choices in removing these benign growths. One options is liquid nitrogen; this procedure is a destructive method that involves “freezing” the brown spot off. The liquid nitrogen is quick, safe, and effective and can be done during routine office visits. The procedure only takes about ten seconds per spot and has no down time. A day after the liquid nitrogen treatment a blister will form over the lentigo, and three or four days after, the freezing the spot will simply peel off. The liquid nitrogen method is the most cost-effective way to remove these spots and is very well tolerated.
Laser treatment is another options for removal of brown spots. The coolglide Xeo laser is one of the newest lasers on the market today, which can be used in the treatment of brown spots. This laser has an “Intense Pulse Light” hand piece which is the best choice in treating lentigos, secondary to the safety profile, the minimal to no downtime, and the great cosmetic results. The laser procedure takes about fifteen to twenty minutes and each brown spot is touched with the laser. The procedure is not painful and has no downtime. Four days following the procedure the brown spot may appear darker, flaky, and then will simply peel off.
The key to preventing more of these spots from occurring is to use sunscreen daily, with at least SPF of 20, and you can also prevent them by wearing protective clothing daily. Everyone should have their skin checked annually by a dermatologist for early detection and prevention of skin cancer.
If your brown spots are bugging you and you are ready to have them removed, please call our Marietta dermatologists office, and have a free cosmetic consultation with Dr. Kayal, who specializes in the treatment of lentigines 770-426-7177