Are Brown Spots on Skin A Sign of Aging?

Brown spots are common for those who have crossed the age of 50 but at times people in their 20’s and 30’s also suffer from it. It has been found that appearance of brown spots on the skin at an early age can make people feel unhappy and depressed as these spots are often regarded as one of the signs of aging.

Brown spots

What are Brown spots?

Brown spots are also known as age spots, senile warts, liver spots, sunspots, skin discolorations and lentigines. Hyper pigmentation is often considered to be the primary factor behind it. The normal color of the skin is regulated by melanin, a pigment produced within the skin. An excessive secretion of the melanin results in the formation of brown spots or hyper-pigmentation.

Sun rays

Apart from being associated with aging, brown spots on the skin may also appear due to excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This is why brown spots mostly appear on the skin areas which are exposed to sunrays.

Other causes behind the appearance of brown spots are:

  • Environmental factors
  • Pregnancy
  • Hereditary
  • Unhealthy lifestyle
  • Exposure to certain chemicals
  • Consumption of excess iron
  • Hormonal changes in the body
  • Certain health problems such as Edison’s disease or hepatic.

These age spots range from light brown color to red, and sometimes, they appear in black color. The size of these spots can range from less than a millimeter to several centimeters, and their color from light brown to dark brown. Although their appearance is sometimes compared with freckles, they have nothing to do with freckles.

Appearance of brown spots on skin is quite common amongst people with fair skin tone. People with dark skin are also prone to it. Also as these signs can be unsightly it often makes a person depressed.

Treatment Options

If you are unhappy with the appearance of brown spots, there are many treatments available for you to choose. Some of the common treatments are:


At times skin specialists suggest the use of certain prescribed medications to get rid of brown spots. Some of the popular prescribed medications are bleaching creams (hydroquinone), retinoids (tretinoin) and certain types of mild steroids. The medications can make the brown spots fade with time but it is essential to know that these medicines can cause temporary itching, redness, burning or dryness.

Laser Therapy:

Laser therapy is the most effective way to get rid of brown spots. With the help of laser therapy, the melanin-producing cells (melanocytes) are destroyed without damaging the skin’s surface. This kind of treatment can give positive results and it requires several sessions.


This is a kind of treatment where with the help of liquid nitrogen or another freezing agent the extra pigments are destroyed and after some time new layer of skin appears. Once the treatment is over, the skin appears lighter. Cryotherapy can be painful and may cause scarring or discoloration.


With this kind of treatment the outer layer of the skin is removed by rubbing or skimming with the help of a small rotating machine. Within a few days the outer layer of skin peels off and is soon replaced by a fresh layer of skin. This treatment can result in temporary redness and scab formation.

Chemical peel:

In this kind of treatment acid such as glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid are used to burn the outer layer of the affected skin area. As your skin peels, new skin forms to take its place. Several sessions may be required to get the desired result. Sun protection is strongly advised following this treatment. Temporary irritation is likely to happen during the treatment.

You can check this video to know more about the treatment options:

Note: Most of these treatments are effective in removing existing brown spots, but they cannot prevent is the development of the new age spots and other aging signs. Also it is essential to bear in mind that all these treatments do not come cheap, and require longer time.

Some precautionary measures:

Protect skin from sun

  • The best way to avoid the formation of brown spots is to stay out of the sun especially between 10 AM to 4 PM as the sun’s rays are most intense during this time.
  • Whenever you need to go out in the sub, apply some sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) all over the exposed skin area. Also your sunscreen should contain actual blockers such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. You must reapply sunscreen in every two hours if you need to stay out in the sun for a longer period of time.
  • Carry an umbrella when going out in the sun or at least try to cover your face by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
  • For protection from the sun, it is also advisable to wear tightly woven clothing to cover your arms and legs.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and also try to eat a well balanced diet which includes lots of green vegetables and fruits.
  • You can also lighten the brown spots to some extent with the use of skin bleaching products and other kind of cosmetics. There are different types of concealer and foundation that you can use to even-out your complexion.

Treat Brown Spots at Home

To treat brown spots you can use some of the easily available ingredients from your kitchen. For instance, according to the website you can use lemon juice to remove the brown spots. Lemons have got bleaching property that hence it can used to remove brown spots.


There is another website that says grated onion added to apple cider vinegar is also very helpful to reduce brown spots. Just plain onion juice can also be used on the brown spots to lighten their appearance. Castor oil or Vitamin E oil can be directly applied to the brown spots to reduce and make them disappear.

Yogurt contains lactic acid which can successfully lighten the skin. The website recommends applying one tablespoon of plain yogurt on to the brown spots allow it sit for about half an hour and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Along with yogurt buttermilk is also known to be quite effective in removing the spots.

For more interesting and easy home remedies for brown spots, check this video:

Final Words

One of the biggest signs of aging that bother people are the brown spots. To some extent you can retain your youthful appearance and get rid of the brown spots. But no matter what, at some point in your life, the signs of aging will begin to appear and there is no way to escape from these signs. Never forget that aging is an inevitable part of life.

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