Not All Freckles Are Equal

After a lifetime of happy, sun filled days, the skin  is dotted with freckles, dark spots  and patches.  But not all spots are equal.  There can be  little flat dark freckles, larger bumpy areas the size of a raisin  and even larger cafe au lait patches of melasma.

freckle before treatentI  have been exploring different lightening and brightening products on different dark spots on my face and limbs.  As it turned out these formulations are not effective  against  raised or very dark  areas of pigmentation.   I had tried just about everything on a tan rough spot on my arm which just kept getting bigger.  When I finally showed it to Dr Lefkovits, he diagnosed it as a seborrheic keratosis.  This is a benign growth that  comes with  both  age and sun exposure.  They have a waxy, flakey  appearance– not attractive, but not dangerous.  And it was important  to realize that no cream or gel could lighten it- it needed to be physically removed.

I had  just one such spot about the size of pencil eraser.  Dermatologists have four options to deal  with them: 1) cryosurgery freezes the spot with liquid nitrogen. This  may not work that well  for thicker lesions and may permanently lighten the skin; 2) Cutterage scrapes the skin with a sharp loop that literally scrapes off the loosely attached  spot; 3) electrodissication  burns off the area  with  electric needle. This  forms a scab that can take   a bit of time to heal. 4) lasers can “blast away” the spot in seconds.  This can be used effectively to deal with thick or numerous seborrheic keratoses, especially on the chest and back.

Out, Out Dark Spot

freckle, day 1Dr Lefkovits choose a combination of cutterage ad electodissication.  First  he injected the area with anesthetic, then used a sharp loop to scrape off the spot.  I didn’t realize that he had scraped  so deeply until I saw a few drops of blood.  He then cleaned up the edes with the electric needle. He topped  the spot with a dollop Aquaphor and a bandaid. A few says later my arm developed a purpleish bruise, a sign  that real work had been done in the area.  I was very glad for freckle, day2the anesthetic. I am keeping the area  covered with Bacitracin  and a bandaid.  I actually used a bigger bandaid  because I am tired of people looking at my arm and asking ” what happened?”.  A month later,  the once scaley spot is  fading into a flat flesh toned surface.freckle healing

Take-Away Lesson for Brown Spots

My point and I do have one,  is that there are  many types of brown spots. Before spending money on lightening or brightening  products, get a skin check to make certain that  the spots are a cosmetic and not a health problem.  Then you can choose the right  tool to erase them.

4 thoughts on “Not All Freckles Are Equal

  1. A few days ago I noticed a brown spot on my leg that wasn’t there before. And it doesn’t look like your typical freckle or birth mark. Guess I’d better have it checked out.

  2. Great info! I had a flat “mole” on my cheek for a few years that turned out to be much more. It was a basal cell carcinoma and I was less than 35 yo. And I worked in a hospital, my closest friends were M.D.’s. Crazy but true. Check it no matter how minor. Check it…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *