Skin Blemishes

Manchas en la piel
Manchas en la piel

Definition and Causes

Sun blemishes are extremely common and are caused by an increase of pigment in the skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation. They become more noticeable as we age. The larger ones are called lentigines and the smaller ones are called freckles. 

Signs and Symptoms

They appear as uniform brown spots ranging from a few millimeters to 1 cm or more on sun-exposed areas of the body. 

Most of these blemishes are benign; however, they can develop into skin cancer. 

Here are some symptoms to watch out for: different colors within the spot, rapid growth, irregular edges, bleeding, or pain. 

Diagnosis

It is important to see a dermatologist annually for a general check-up of the blemishes, or earlier if you notice any unusual symptoms. 

The doctor will observe them closer with a dermatoscope and will take a biopsy in case of suspicion of malignancy. 

Prevention

It is of utmost importance to avoid prolonged sun exposure and protect ONESELF with the use of a hat, cap, protective clothing, and sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. 

Treatment

If it is a normal blemish, it can be removed with a laser to improve the appearance of the skin and give a more even tone. In case of malignancy, it will be removed SURGICALLY. 

Learn more about specialized treatments for blemishes.

Melasma

Manchas en la piel
Melasma

Definition and Causes

They are dark-colored spots that appear on the face and are known as the “mask of pregnancy”. Melasma is more common in women than in men. Certain factors favor its appearance: hormonal changes, use of contraceptives, genetic factors, and exposure to ultraviolet radiation. 

Signs and Symptoms

It appears as dark spots on the face, especially on the forehead, cheeks, and upper lip. It can affect the superficial layers of the skin acquiring a light or dark brown color or deeper layers with a blue-grayish color. 

Diagnosis

A lamp called Wood’s light can be used to help highlight the spots and identify their depth. The form of presentation is very characteristic and further studies are usually not required. 

Prevention

It is of utmost importance to avoid exposure to the sun, the application of sunscreen every 3-4 hours, and the use of a hat or cap. 

Treatment

There are several products that help to reduce the pigment, such as hydroquinone, arbutin, and kojic acid in combination with retinoids, or glycolic acid that eliminate the superficial layers of the skin. In addition, therapies such as intense pulsed light or some lasers can be used to optimize results. 

Learn more about specialized treatments for melasma.

Freckles

Pecas
Pecas

Definition and Causes

Freckles are small spots caused by the increased pigment in the skin in response to sun exposure. They are more common in fair skin and can appear IN EARLY childhood and become more noticeable as we age. 

Signs and Symptoms

Freckles appear as millimetric brown spots on sun-exposed areas such as cheeks, nose, chest, back, and arms. They usually do not increase in size they just get darker over time. 

Diagnosis

It is important to see a dermatologist for a general check-up at least once a year. Although freckles are a benign condition, sun exposure is also a risk factor for the development of other conditions such as skin cancer. 

Prevention

The most important thing is to avoid sun exposure, protect yourself with a hat, cap, protective clothing, and the use of sunscreen every 3-4 hours to avoid damage caused by UV radiation. 

Treatment

There are different options to remove freckles TO ATTAIN a more even skin tone. Q-switched laser and intense pulsed light are safe procedures, simple to perform and in a few sessions, you will notice the results. 

Learn more about specialized treatments for freckles.