I have brown spots and am hispanic. Is this advice good?

Hi Dr. I I had a consultation today regarding the brown spots/sun damage on my face and I wanted to ask for your opinion. I am a 37 years old, on birth control pills,hispanic(olive skin) and work outdoors (10 hour days).I have done the IPL 3 times and see results but not completly satisfied. I started the IPL after I had a baby. I was told that a peel would be better than a laser treatment and that I should use certain products(cosmelan). I am using the sunscreen you recommended Zinclear but this doctor told me that I don't need Zinc in my sunscreen at my age???????? What do you suggest? I do plan to get a different opinion but I was wondering what you thought of this and what direction/questions may be more helpful in my next consultation.

I know for sure that that advice about your sunscreen was not good!!!  You are YOUNG – only 37 – and if you have brown spots, are hispanic, on birth control and work outside, you need a double layer every single day on your face, neck and chest at the very least!!!  Ignore him/her and continue with your Zinclear.  You might even want to double layer by putting the Zinclear on in the morning and getting the tinted ColorScience powder to layer over it at lunch (this and other online sites). If you don’t like those, try a product with 3% Mexoryl which won’t be chalky.

 I would recommend a second opinion and here are some questions you can ask your dermatologist (be sure they are board certified – go to AAD.org).   Does he/she think your problem is more melasma or sun damage or both?  If it’s melasma, would changing birth control methods be helpful (usually yes)?  Since you work outdoors, what other things can you do to protect your skin?  Would peels be more helpful for you than IPL?   Is the IPL making it worse?  Sometimes the case if it’s melasma.  What other topical treatments would be helpful?  Hopefully this will get started a productive dialogue with him/her.   Good luck!  Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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