Brown Spots

I have a a large brown spot on my upper arm, that resulted from a sun burn, or perhaps someone was using a mirror near by as I felt the burn locally. I have tried IPL treatments several times, as well as a "hot" laser treatment once, with little or no effect. A few days ago I noticed a bluish tinge to it. Touching it very lightly resulted in the bursting of a blood vessel burst leaving a larger hematoma with a bump. I applied ice and the area flattened. I hope the bruise will go away in a few weeks. I have been applying Arnica which has helped in the past for bruising. Did the IPL treatments weaken the veins and thus indirectly cause this to happen. Should I avoid additional laser treatments? People are often staring at the spot or ask me what happened. Is there another treatment to try? I also have many sun spots on the tops of my thighs from living in a tropical country in my early 20s. I am afraid to try IPL on those. Would a chemical peel help? Many thanks in advance for your advice. Robbie

Robbie – thank you for writing because you bring up some good points.  You may have done this already so forgive me if you have but……….    For everyone out there, every single unusal brown spot, especially if it’s bigger than a pencil eraser, needs to be seen by a dermatologist or your family doctor.  Because it could be a melanoma! Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can be fatal if not caught early.  It is completely curable with a small surgery if caught early.  Go to to learn more.

 I’m hoping there isn’t a single person in this country who is having brown spots lasered or IPL’d (a new verb?), who hasn’t had them looked at by a doctor first.  It’s so important to have those spots examined for skin cancers first, then lasering them is fine!!! 

 If you’ve had all that done, let me know and I can help you with other issues.  


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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

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