Dermatological responses

Brown spots

In Europe:
• In Europe, 16% of women claim their skin is prone to brown spots*
• In France, 27% of women from 19 to 74 years old claim to have brown spots**
*BEAUTY CARE WOMEN 4G 2012 – Europe – GFK Switzerland – February 2013
**  Arcane Study France 2011

What determines our skin color?

It depends on melanogenesis: the production of a brown pigment known as melanin by melanocytes, a specialized cell located in the epidermis.
Melanin is evenly distributed at the surface of the skin in the shape of "grains". It gives the skin its shade of color, ranging from milky white to black: the higher the concentration of melanin, the darker the skin. Melanin synthesis, and thus the skin's color, is genetically determined.
Melanin synthesis is also stimulated by the sun rays. In fact, tanning is your skin's reaction to the aggression of ultraviolet rays.
Pigmentation is fragile and easily altered by trauma or diseases. "Pigmentation problems" can take the form of hyperpigmentations (brown spots) or hypopigmentations (clear spots).

What are the different types of brown spots?

The pregnancy mask
Also known as "melasma” particularly occurs in pregnant women.  It occurs on the face (forehead, cheeks, upper lips). It is induced by the sun, whose effects on the skin are potentialized by the hormones that are produced in abundance during pregnancy. However, being pregnant is not a prerequisite to be affected by melasma. Intake of estrogen (birth-control pills) can also increase the risks. It can even affect men after being exposed to the sun. 

Liver spots
Also known as "solar lentigo", they increase in number and in size with age. They're mostly found on the back of hands, but also on the face, neck, cleavage and legs. 

Residual pigment marks
All skin inflammations can leave unsightly pigmented marks or scars.  It is the case for common skin conditions such as acne for example, which are perceptibly worsened when exposed to the sun.

Irregular skin tone
Irregular pigmentation of the skin tone that indicate photoaging induced by extensive UV exposure.

What are the possible precautions?

To prevent brown spots from appearing or accentuating, a few precautions must be taken:

  • No direct exposure to the sun
  • Avoid the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. when it is particularly aggressive
  • Wear clothes that provide maximum protection
  • Put on a wide brim hat and sunglasses.
  • Choose sun care products with high SPF (50+)

Remember to reapply every two hours.

Ducray treatment

The best treatment program adapted to every type of brown spots
Consult your dermatologist

All conditions require the help of a health professional for diagnosis and treatment

Get answers

from our experts
Can brown spots appear at any age?
Yes, brown spots always appear under the effects of the sun, but it can also affect: - people with acne-prone skin for whom breakouts can sometimes leave brown scars. - pregnant women or women who are on the pill (birth-control) for whom a "pregnancy mask" can appear on their face - older women who have "liver spots" mostly on the back of their hands, but also on the face, neck, cleavage and legs Adapted treatments can help prevent them and support their disappearance.
Is pregnancy mask inevitable?
During your pregnancy, your body is subjected to a large hormonal change. You are "overwhelmed" with hormones (estrogen and progesterone) whose effects are visible and diversely "appreciated". You have to take care because it is very fragile, has a tendency to be drier, more irritable and is particularly vulnerable to the sun. Estrogen and progesterone are in fact the combination that stimulates the excessive production of melanin (pigment responsible for the color of the skin) that is normally induced through exposure to the sun (tanning). Be careful to protect yourself from the sun, especially during the second half of your pregnancy, to avoid the appearance of unsightly stains on your face around your forehead, temples, the apples of your cheeks and above your upper lip, like a mask.
Will my "pregnancy mask" go away?
First, you should avoid exposure to the sun and protect yourself with a high index photoprotector so as not to accentuate the "pregnancy mask".