It is officially fall. Gone are the long days of sun and the summer glow is starting to fade (I never had one of course). As the tan fades, those pesky brown spots become annoyingly obvious. I probably have at least five people ask about getting rid of brown spots every day. Unfortunately, I can never devote the time needed to the topic because insurance companies (who are always watching and auditing) don’t want me to discuss cosmetic issues if they are paying the bill. Now brown spots should be evaluated to ensure they are not cancerous (so making an appointment for brown spot evaluation is ok with most insurance companies), just last week one of those brown spots turned out to be a melanoma. Fortunately, the majority are not melanoma and represent either solar lentigos (age spots), seborrheic keratoses (another type of age spot) or melasma. All three of these conditions are somewhat cosmetic in nature (if you are looking to remove them).
Solar lentigos (which look like brown spots) and melasma (often looks more like brown blotchy skin) are caused by the sun. They are very sun sensitive and are not prevented 100% by sunscreen. So before treating, you have to be committed to protecting your skin from the sun with heavy sunscreen, clothing and hats.