Brown Spots vs Melasma

See Dr. Irwin's short video on the difference between brown spots (sun damage) and Melasma.

Learn more about brown spots (sun damage) and melasma from dermatologist Dr. Irwin:

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Video Transcription 

Dr. Brandith Irwin
Welcome to SkinTour I’m Dr. Brandith Irwin. Our goal is to provide you with expert, unbiased information about skin. So I want to talk to you today about Melasma and brown spots. And here’s why I don’t want you to self diagnose these. Because there are actually a lot of different types of brown spots and good proportion of them or a number of them can be skin cancers. And so I think it’s really impossible for you as a regular person to know for sure which is which. So please, please, please go see your dermatologist and make sure you have an accurate diagnosis before you start treatment. The other thing, the other reason to do that is you’ll get much better treatment and much more effective treatment if you have an accurate diagnosis first. Because there’s no point in putting melasma medications on something that is not in fact a pigmented skin cancer. In fact that would be really not a that would be a disaster. So you want to get the diagnosis first. After that, so there is a difference between brown spots and melasma. Melasma is usually a much bigger area and while the skin looks kind of blotchy, it’s usually over a broader area. There are different locations for that. Sometimes there on the forehead, sometimes it’s on the jaw line; there are lots of-sometimes it can even be on the arms for example. So again get a good diagnosis. And the other thing about brown spots is, you know brown spots are a side of sun damage and if you have a lot of sun damage, that’s important for a dermatologist to evaluate. So again, I think talking about medications, which I plan to do in another segment. It’s important to first of all get your diagnosis and start your treatment plan. Enjoy your time on SkinTour.

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

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