In addition to wrinkles and sagging skin, dark spots on the face and hands are a sign of advancing age. However, not all pigment disorders are necessarily associated with aging. There are different types of pigment disorders that are triggered by different factors. You can read about what these are and what you can do about them in the following article:
Melasma and chloasma
In addition to the classic "age spots" that affect both sexes and are triggered by long-term exposure to the sun, more and more middle-aged women suffer from hormone-related pigment changes, which are known as chloasma or melasma. These express themselves as noticeable, brownish spots that usually appear on the forehead, temples, chin and cheeks, but are always benign. Although the terms “melasma” and “chloasma” are often used identically in the specialist literature, melasma correctly only refers to pigment spots that can occur during pregnancy. Chloasma, on the other hand, is also used as a collective term for various acquired hyperpigmentation on the face.
Hormones and solar radiation
Normal, healthy skin forms an even pigmentation when exposed to sunlight. The cells of the skin contain the so-called melanocytes, which have the task of protecting the skin from harmful radiation. They do this by changing their color and ideally giving us a nice summer tan after sunbathing. In pregnant women, the combination of exposure to the sun and increased hormone levels can provoke a defensive reaction in the body and lead to the formation of melasma - brown, often symmetrical, spots on the forehead, cheeks, upper lip or nose. However, these are neither painful nor dangerous, they can only pose a problem for those affected from a cosmetic point of view. After delivery, however, these skin changes can recede on their own. The intake of hormone preparations such as the pill, hormone therapy or the onset of menopause in connection with strong sunlight can trigger chloasma, as the hormones increase the formation of melanin - the pigment - and influence its regular distribution.
Help with hormone spots
If you notice changes in your skin, switching to another hormone preparation can help. You can have superficial pigment spots removed by your dermatologist either with the help of a bleaching agent or a chemical peel. However, this is no longer possible with deeper spots. Therefore, the best thing to do is to take care to avoid hyperpigmentation. Applying sunscreen and avoiding excessive and long exposure to the sun are two important measures to prevent chloasma. It is also advisable to always take hormone preparations in the evening, as the hormone concentration is highest in the first hours after taking it.
Further information on the subject of "Brown spots on the face - what to do?" can be found here: https://www.apotheken-umschau.de/Braune-Flecken
For more tips on skin health, check out the other articles on my dermblog: https://le-manoir.de/dermablog/
Your dr. med. Peter Kessler