Facial Brown Spots

Facial Brown Spots – Causes, Picture, Symptoms And Treatment

Facial Brown Spots: Introduction

If the skin is exposed to the sun’s rays, it can lead to increase in the cell production of melanocytes that lead to rising levels of melanin in the skin. This can lead to age spots also known as brown/dark/sun/liver spots The presence of melanin turns the skin darker. Age spots are essentially flat spots on the skin occurring in areas exposed to the rays of the sun. These are also referred to as senile lentigo or solar lentigines.

The spots appear in the form of blemishes on the skin. The range is from light brown to reddish-black. A well known cause for this condition is exposure to the sun. Brown spots are also known as hyperpigmentation. The name age spots have been given because this problem commences in the middle years. Spots appear on the face and other regions of the body. From laser therapy to electrosurgery and cryosurgery, there are many methods to get rid of age spots.

Facial brown spots can result from exposing the skin to the rays of the sun as well as aging and genetics, stress, pregnancy, lack of vitamins, or liver related problems. Brown spots are harmless but they can be disfiguring. This is why people often resort to either home remedies or medical treatment. Melasma or brown spots appear on the skin of men and women both. But a majority of the persons who develop these facial brown spots are women.

Those with dark rather than fair skin, like Latin, Hispanic, N.African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Native American, African-American, and Mediterranean origin are more prone to develop this problem. Those who have blood relatives with this condition will be more prone to brown facial spots too.

Causes of Facial Brown Spots

What leads to melasma has not been clearly identified and scientists have suggested several potential causes for this condition.

The mechanism behind facial brown spots is simple. It takes place when the cells making the color or melanocytes in your skin yield too much. People with darker skins are more likely to have this condition than fair skinned people.

Common causes for facial brown spots are discussed below:

Exposure to the Sun

Ultraviolet sun’s rays activate melanocytes and small amounts of exposure can lead to age spots actually returning after they have faded. Exposure to the sun is the reason why melasma gets worse in the summers. This is also the reason for recurring brown spots. UV or ultraviolet light in the rays of the sun can lead to facial brown spots.


When facial brown spots or melasma occur in women who are expecting, it is the result of changing hormones. It is known as chloasma/pregnancy mask.

Hormonal factors

Birth control pill (The Pill) and HRT can also trigger melasma. Brown spots can be the result of hormonal fluctuations.

Use of Cosmetics

Use of Cosmetics
Photo By: Practical Cures| CC BY

Skincare items irritating the skin can worsen melasma. They can also lead to the darkening of the skin in the first place.

Certain Medications

Sometimes, certain medications can also trigger the formation of age spots. Medicines can lead to certain conditions associated with age spots too, such as liver damage if taken on a continuous basis.

Skin Diseases & Other Disorders

Certain diseases trigger the production of brown spots such as acne, melasma, Linea Fusca, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and Riehl’s melanosis. Other disorders which can also lead to age spots include Addison’s disease, pituitary tumors, hemochromatosis and liver disease.

Risk Factor

Persons with a history of sun exposure or use of tanning lights/beds are also prone to brown spots.

Symptoms of Facial Brown Spots

  • Apart from flattened and oval skin, an increase in pigmentation, and differences in the texture of the skin, there are other symptoms associated with age spots.
  • Spots are brown, gray or black and cover the different areas of the body
  • The facial brown spots may also appear in other parts of the body such as upper back, neck, feet, and hands.
  • The size of age spots varies from the size of a common freckle to more than half of an inch in size. The spots are fairly prominent and so people look for treatments and cures.

When Should You See a Doctor?

Brown facial spots are generally not a precursor of any serious medical conditions. They do not require medical care. But the appearance of these spots is less than pleasing to the eye and in case the spots become darker or they change shape, it may become imperative to seek medical help. Some changes can even be the sign of melanoma and you need to be alert if the following signs appear:

  • Dark pigmentation
  • Rapid increase in size
  • Irregularities in the border
  • Redness, tenderness or any signs of blood
  • Itchiness

Ways To Treat Brown Spots

Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice
Photo By: Mike Mozart/ CC BY

This bleaches the skin and helps to prevent the brown spots from becoming darker. Use lemon juice for a clear, soft and beautiful skin. Apply fresh lemon directly on the area that has been affected. Then rinse it off with regular cold water.

To avoid dark spots, repeat this remedy twice daily for six months to get results that are positive.

If your skin is sensitive, you need to add water, rose water or honey to the lemon juice to prevent it from drying.

Another choice is to mix enough sugar into the juice and make a paste. Use this as a scrub on your face and rinse off after 5-10 minutes. Add olive oil for lubrication to the recipe.


Photo By: Rebecca Siegel/ CC BY

This contains lactic acid which exfoliates the skin, thereby removing blemishes and brown spots without harming the skin. Buttermilk needs to be applied to brown spots using cotton balls. Keep the mixture on for some minutes before cleansing the area with water. If there is oily or acne covered skin, lemon juice can be added as well. Lemon juice bleaches the skin and also has astringent properties.

Castor Oil

Castor Oil
Photo By: Family O’Abe/ CC BY

This has strong healing properties and can be used to dodge brown/age spots. Along with castor oil, other types of oil that can be used to remove brown facial spotting include coconut, olive, almond or vitamin E enriched oil. Cotton ball should be used to apply castor oil on the area that has been impacted. You need to massage the area for some minutes, leave it on for some hours and then gently wash it off. This makes sure the brown spots fade out and the skin tone becomes normal. Repeat this beauty care routine twice a day for quick results.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar
Photo By: Mike Mozart/CC BY

This is an effective remedy for a number of skin related issues such as age spots. This helps the spots to dry and fade out faster. Add diluted apple cider vinegar with an equal proportion of water and keep it on. Wash the applied mask off after some minutes. Make sure it is diluted or your face will sting. Mix one-half teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with some amount of orange juice (around 2-3 tablespoonful). Apply it on the area where the brown spot is and wash it off once it becomes dry. You need to repeat this 1-2 times daily for the next 3-4 weeks for best results.

Aloe Vera

This has the properties for healing and regenerating the skin. This is why it is excellent for the revitalization of the skin for avoiding brown spots caused by exposing the skin to the sun.

Rub some gel of this medicinal plant onto the part of your face which has the spots. Keep this on for half an hour before washing it off with cold water. Carrying out this routine twice daily for 30 days will yield noticeable results. If a fresh gel is not there, opt for juice from the market.


This is excellent for warding off aging. It also has antiseptic that can reduce hyperpigmentation and prevent the brown spots from persisting. Try a homemade pack with two tablespoons of sandalwood in powdered form.Add two teaspoons full of rose water along with a glycerin and lemon measuring 1 teaspoon each. Put this as a mask or pack on your body and permit it to dry in a natural way. Cold water can be used to wash it off. Repeat this until the brown spots vanish.

Another way out is to add a single tablespoon of orange juice, two of lemon juice , and contents of two vitamin E capsules in sandalwood powder of around 2 tablespoons. Mix this and put it on your face, Leave it on for 30 minutes before you wash it off. Repeat this many times in a week till an improvement is seen.

You can also mix sandalwood oil with olive or almond oil and apply the same before going to bed and leaving it on through the night. Wash it off in the morning to get a glowing, even-toned skin.


Yogurt can also bleach brown spots on the face as well as other parts of the body. All you need to do is to apply the yogurt onto the face where the spots are and leave it on for 20-30 minutes. Once the pack becomes hard, wash it off with cold water. Try leaving it on overnight for better results.

Another option is treating brown spots using yogurt, lime juice and oatmeal and let the applied mask dry before washing it off. Apply this face pack for 2-3 months continuously and watch positive results come flowing in.

Onion Juice

This is a wonderful choice to get rid of brown spots. Slice the onion and rub it over the spots on the skin 2-3 times daily. This vegetable’s juice has bleaching and acidic properties that lighten the dark spots.

Horseradish Juice

A convenient home remedy to get rid of brown spots is to apply horseradish juice, which needs to be put on the affected spots and left for 10 minutes. The juice then needs to be washed off. Repeat this skincare regimen two times in a day for fast results.

Sour Milk, Cream, and Honey

You can deal with a facial brown spot by using a face mask comprising sour milk, cream, and honey. This is an age-old beauty remedy for removing dark spots and it needs to be applied over the face and other parts where the skin has darkened. Repeat this for half an hour and then wash the pack off. Repeat this once a day to get the skin you want.

Strawberry Paste

Mix strawberries and peeled apricots together in a blender and convert it into a paste which must then be applied to the age spots on the skin and dried off naturally. Wash off the pack when dry and repeat the process 4-5 times in 7 days to get the results you need.

Yellow Mustard

Another good home remedy is yellow mustard, which can be made into a paste with the addition of milk. Let the mixture sit on the brown spots for half an hour to 20 minutes and wash it off with cold water. Repeat the process for 3 weeks to see visible results.

Tomatoes and Lemon

Lemon juice of around 2-3 teaspoon full needs to be added to the juice of tomatoes and applied over the skin. It can be dried off naturally and washed off with cold water. This beauty regime should be followed daily to lessen the darkness of the brown spots.


Photo By: Marufish/CC BY

Freshly cut papaya skin can be applied onto the spotted are and the juice should rest on the skin for around 15 minutes. This can be washed off once it is dry and will remove the dark spots on the skin with efficacy.


The juice of pineapple applied on brown spots 3-4 times in a day bleaches the skin and lightens the age spots.

Parsley and Turmeric

Add fresh parsley leaves with turmeric powder and lemon juice, and apply the mixture on the dark spots. Permit this to dry before you wash it off with regular water. This can treat dark spots on the skin.

Medical Treatment

Skin doctors can be used to diagnose patients by observing their skin. Get glowing, smooth skin devoid of spots using the treatment your dermatologist offers.Generally, these brown spots fade on their own, when triggers include birth control substances or pregnancy. Some individuals can have melasma for years or a lifetime. Some medications that can be used to treat the problem include:

  • Hydroquinone
  • Tretinoin and corticosteroids

Skin doctors would also prescribe azelaic acid or kojic acid to lighten the melasma.

Treating melasma requires a chemical peel such as glycolic acid, microdermabrasion, and dermabrasion. Skin irritation, darkening of the skin and other such signs are an indication you need serious medical care

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