It’s not uncommon for people to look up the slightest changes in our bodies- the internet is slowly replacing the need to go to seek proper medical help.
Having said this, brown spots on the breast are a very common question discussed in several online health forums such as Health Central and Med Help.
Basically, what is most evident from these medical forums is the fact that a majority of people are experiencing this problem.
Possible causes of brown spots under the breast
Brown spots also referred to as solar lentigo is a common skin condition that affects a great number of people as they age. They also are known as liver spots or age spots are simply a collection of pigment associated with sun exposure.
They are usually common in people over the age of 50 but can also be present in younger people. Normally, brown spots usually affect areas of the body that have been overly subjected to the sun e.g. the face, hands, shoulders, and arms and in some cases even the breasts.
Ideally, they look similar to cancerous growths but true age spots are benign and do not require any medical intervention. Additionally, these can easily be prevented by regular use of sunscreen and avoiding direct UV rays.
According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, during pregnancy-the fluctuations of hormones are responsible for some skin conditions; such as Melasma (brown patches on the face especially around the cheeks, nose, and forehead) and dark spots on breasts, inner thighs, and nipples.
The reason why dark patches form on the skin is due to an increased melanin production, but the dark spots usually vanish on their own after delivering the baby.
Additionally, the Miami Institute for Age Management & intervention suggests that the use of oral contraceptives and some anticonvulsants are also responsible for causing melasma.
Brown spots are harmless and usually do not require any treatment. However, for cosmetic purposes they can be treated in the following ways:
This treatment method is specifically customized for each and every individual and usually differs in strength(light-moderate-deep).
The customized chemical peels target the severity of the patient’s condition. The moderate strength peels are typically less aggressive than the deep ones but may require several sessions to get the desired results. While for the deep chemical peels will only require one treatment session.
Pigmented spot laser removal works by breaking down the melanin pigment responsible for giving these them their color. Basically, the laser energy breaks down the pigment without affecting the surrounding areas afterward this pigmented spot gradually scabs over and fall off the skin
The treatment is carried out in a controlled environment to ensure maximum safety.
Use of bleaching agents such as hydroquinone in addition to a mild steroid and with or without retinoid will cause the spot to gradually fade.
Glycolic acid peels
This acid peels are made from sugar and are directly applied to the skin in order to burn the outer layer to give room for new skin to regenerate. Several treatments will be required and sun protection is very important after the treatment.
A freezing agent such as liquid nitrogen is used to destroy or remove any excess pigments on the areas of the skin affected.
However, this method may irritate the skin, cause permanent scarring or discoloration.
However, it is very important to report any slight changes in your skin to a doctor as soon as possible in order to rule out any serious health conditions such as cancer. Additionally, if your symptoms become severe or notice any of the ones listed below, it’s important to seek medical advice.
- Rapid growth.
- Poor healing.
- Irregular borders.
- Tenderness or bleeding.
- Dark pigmentation.
- Itchy red skin.