Dark spots, brown spots, gray spots, what are they? - Alvinology

Dark spots, brown spots, gray spots, what are they?

Dark spots, red spots, brown spots, blue spots, gray spots, what are they?

I have had many patients asking me about those spots on their faces. So to help you learn more about your skin, and understand those spots you see when you look into the mirror, I have decided to walk you through some of the common pigmentary conditions.

Allow me to first start with freckles, those brown spots that you get for working out in the sun since your schooldays.

– Freckles: 

What are they?

– Freckles are spots which commonly appear with sun exposure and are found on the cheeks and nose. They increase with age and darken with sun exposure. They lighten with sun protection.

How can we treat it? 

– In my opinion, treatment includes strictly avoiding the sun, using sun protection, using skin lightening cream and +/- laser therapy.

Here is an example of freckles.


Next up, Melasma. 

So what causes Melasma?

– Melasma is very common with the Asian skin. It is multifactorial, with a strong genetic and hormonal component. It is worsened with sun exposure, OCPs and pregnancy. It tends to be distributed either over the cheeks or a central distribution from the forehead down to the chin.

How can we treat it? 

– There are many treatment regimens for melasma. Personally, I would suggest an advanced treatment which consists of priming the skin with lightening agents for a month, +/- oral medication followed by careful use of chemical peels and laser skin toning under a Dermatologist’s prescription.


– Solar Lentigines/ Sunspots/ Age spots

What are they? 

– These are discrete lesions which progress with age. Prevention is the key with sun protection and sun avoidance.

How can we treat it? 

– They may be lightened with bleaching creams and pigment lasers.

solar lentigo

Hori’s Nevus

What are they?

This is a pigmentary condition characterized by multiple dark blue gray spots, commonly found bilaterally in the cheeks. They darken with sun exposure and childbirth.

How can we treat it? 

In my opinion, they can be successfully lightened with a careful combination of sun avoidance, skincare and lasers.


So I hope this mini segment on pigmentary woes in the Asian skin has been useful. Remember, stay bold and beautiful.

Dr Daniel Chang

– Be Bold and Beautiful

– Making Raffles Place more beautiful, one face at a time

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