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Brown or black spots on your skin are sometimes known as pigmented lesions. These could be moles, age spots and sun damaged skin. You should seek immediate medical attention if you notice any changes to existing lesions or abnormal looking new lesions.
You should particularly look for things like, changes in colour or more than one colour present in same lesion, if the borders are uneven and asymmetrical, if the mole is wider than 6mm across and if the mole changes in shape.
The colour of pigmented skin lesions is due to
Melanin, blood and exogenous pigment (such as tattoo).
Pigmented skin lesions are most often melanocytic however some non- melanocytic lesions can also be pigmented particularly in dark skin.
Treatment options for pigmented lesions include laser. The laser pulses are applied directly to the skin cells containing excess melanin. These absorb the intense laser energy, heat up and degenerate whilst surrounding skin tissue is unharmed. The patient must always remember to avoid sun exposure and to apply SPF during the days following the treatment as well as apply a topical steroid if necessary.
Hyperpigmentation is the medical term to describe darker patches of skin. These patches result from excess production of melanin which can be caused from many things such as sun damage, hormonal fluctuations and acne scarring. Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition and there are a number of different treatment options such as lightening creams, alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic, lactic, citric, malic or tartaric acids, retinoids, chemical peels, skin resurfacing treatment, IPL therapy ( Intense pulsed light ) and microdermabrasion.
Pigmented lesions are very common and generally harmless, most adults have at least a few of them on their skin.
Pigmented lesions are usually no cause for concern, however, some can develop into different forms of skin cancer, so, they should always be inspected by a qualified doctor. Sometimes, it might be necessary an examination by a dermatologist for pigmented lesions that change color, shape, or size.
But what are pigmented lesions?
These growths and skin spots, are caused by melanocyte cells in the skin. Melanocytes are the cells responsible for the production of melanin, the substance that gives color (pigment) to the skin.
Common pigmented lesions are:
- Age spots
They can occur due to different reasons, some people are born with them, others develop them through the natural process of changing hormones and aging, or over time from exposure to the sun.it is also possible to develop them when they taking certain medications, such as hormone medications or birth control pills, especially when those medications are combined to sun exposure.
There are different treatments available depending on the single case.
Precancerous or cancerous lesions
If a pigmented lesion has turned precancerous or developed into either melanoma, basal-cell carcinoma, or squamous-cell carcinoma, Mr. Ferrando may recommend surgery to remove the lesion.
The surgery he will recommend will depend on the extent of the disease. Many patients can have a simple outpatient surgery. Dr. Ferrando will help you decide on the best option and course of action.
Laser Therapies and other cosmetic treatments are some of the options Dr. Ferrando may recommend for birthmarks, age spots, and noncancerous lesions.