Brown Patches On Skin, Spots, Causes, Get Rid, Remedies, Treatment

Brown patches on skin may keep spreading, appear to be scaly and look damage the skin. Depending on what caused them, they may be itchy or not itchy and even cause hyperpigmentation depending on the skin type, Below are more on what cause brown patches on the skin, how to get rid of them using home remedies and treatment.

Brown patches on skin mostly affect light skinned people since they do not have enough melanin to protect them from harmful sun ray. Some of these patches are also occur when the skin ages. They can be cancerous or not. It is important to take good care of your skin in order to avoid these ugly skin tags.

Brown patches on skin
Brown patches on skin

Liver spots

Do not get it twisted, liver spots has got nothing to do with the liver. They are just flat, painless, brown patches on skin that from due to old age or prolonged exposure to the ultra violet rays from the sun. Body parts that are hardly covered like the face, hands, shoulders and forearms are prone to getting liver spots.  People who use bleaching lotions are also likely to get liver spots.

These brown patches on skin are not harmful they only change the appearance of your skin. Always avoid exposing your skin to sunlight for long. If you have to be out in the sun the apply sunscreen (with an SPF of 15) on the parts of your skin that are exposed.

As much as the brown patches on skin due to liver spots are not harmful, it is important to visits a dermatologist in order to confirm that they are not cancer related. The doctor will prescribe Retin-A for treatment of these patches.

Skin pigmentation disorders

The skin pigmentation is determined by melanin that is produced by melanocytes cells which are based at the bottom of the epidermis. Dark skinned people have got more melanin supplied to their skin as compared to light skinned people. The advantage of having a darker skin is that it is more resistant to sun damage.

Skin pigmentation disorder occurs when the melanocyte cells are destroyed and production of melanin is reduced (hypopigmentation), production of more melanin (hyperpigmentation) or no production of skin colour (achromia). The skin pigmentation disorder can affect parts of the skin and cause brown patches on skin or it can affect the entire body .The following are some of the examples of skin pigmentation disorder;

  1. Brown patches on skin due to prolonged exposure to the harmful ultra violet rays of the sun
  2. Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy that causes pigmentation of body parts like the nipples, vulva and abdomen.
  3. Addison’s diseases
  4. Vitiligo which is characterized by light patches on the skin
  5. Albinism which is a genetic disorder characterized by lack of skin pigmentation
  6. Skin burns will have pigmentation disorder after healing

Brown spots on skin

Brown spots on skin mostly affects people with a light skin complexion .They are not harmful but they may also be an early symptom of skin cancer so it is important to get checked by a professional dermatologist.

These brown spots on skin can be caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight, hormonal imbalance, tanning beds or hyperpigmentation of the skin. These spots can develop anywhere on the skin.

Sunrays damages parts of the skin that are rarely covered like the face, legs and arms. The other causes of brown spots on skin can make them appear even on the most private parts of the body like the nipples, vulva and abdomen as seen in pregnant women.

These spots can be permanently removed via surgery but it is better to prevent them by avoiding exposure to ultra violet rays and applying sunscreen before exposing your skin to the sun rays.

Peeling scaly patches on skin
Peeling scaly patches on skin

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Causes of brown patches on skin

Below are some causes that may help in self-diagnosis and prevention these patches on the skin.

1. Fungus

Yeast fungus exist on our skin naturally ,they only cause an infection when they over multiply .Overgrowth of yeast can be caused by hot and humid weather, oily skin, hormonal imbalance or a compromised immune system. A skin condition known as tinea versicolor is caused by yeast infection and is characterised by lighter, itchy, scaly patches on skin.

2. Diabetes

Diabetes causes a skin condition known as necrobiosis lipodica that starts as small raised solid bumps that later turn into brown patches on skin with shiny surrounding. The skin feels very itchy and painful and blood vessels become visible. Ensure you visit your doctor if you notice such symptoms.

3. Sun

The harmful UV rays from the sun can interfere with the functioning of  melanocyte cells and lead to formation of light brown patches  on skin or dark brown patches on skin if the amount of melanin produced increase. These patches are harmless but it is still important to get checked by a dermatologist because skin cancer also has got similar characteristics.

4. STD

Sexually transmitted disease put you at a higher risk of getting HIV infection. HIV/AIDS is also a sexually transmitted infection. One of the symptoms of HIV infection is dark brown patches on skin.

5. Pregnancy

Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy can cause skin pigmentation disorder especially around the vulva, nipple, forehead, inner thighs and abdomen. These dark brown patches on skin during pregnancy clear up after delivery.

6. After tanning

Tanning does not protect the skin from harmful ultra violet rays so you are still at risk of getting skin cancer which can begin as brown spots on skin. The ultraviolet rays used in tanning beds are harmful to your skin.

7. Keratosis

Keratosis is a skin condition that causes brown patches on skin that gets darker with time. They are common in older people. These patches can occur anywhere on the skin. They are raised and have no distinct shape. They can be an early symptom of skin cancer so ensure you visit a dermatologist if you notice such changes on your skin.

8. Liver problems

A damaged liver will cause discoloration to the skin.

Itchy brown patches on skin around healing wound
Itchy brown patches on skin around healing wound

Brown patches on skin cancer

Skin cancer refers to abnormal growth of skin cells. They can start out as brown spots on the skin hence making it very difficult to detect them at an early stage. It is therefore important to visit your dermatologist if you notice any growth or patches on you skin.

Too much exposure of skin to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun is the major cause of most types of skin cancer.

Skin cancer can be in the form of melanoma which is fatal and appear to be spreading  to other parts of the body or  non-melanoma which is less harmful and does not spread .The following are the characteristics of a cancerous skin growth;

  1. It is not symmetrical i.e. does not have a well-defined shape.
  2. They have un even borders
  3. The color of the growth is not uniform
  4. The skin growth increase in size rapidly
  5. A skin growth that is scaly, peeling off , bleeds or scabs

According to Mayo Clinic,” Checking your skin for suspicious changes can help detect skin cancer at its earliest stages. Early detection of skin cancer gives you the greatest chance for successful skin cancer treatment.

How to get rid of Brown patches on skin

Brown patches on skin may not be life threatening but they make your skin look ugly. There are home remedies that can help in clearing these brown patches on skin and help you gain back your confidence when it comes to flaunting your body

1. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a bleaching agent that will lighten the dark brown patches on skin. It also contains vitamin C which is an essential vitamin for boosting your immune system.


  1. Lemons
  2. A Sieve
  3. A Cup
  4. A sharp knife
  5. Honey
  6. A ball of cotton
  7. Water
  8. A clean piece of cloth

Preparation Method and Use

  1. Apply pressure on the lemon by kneading it on the kitchen counter.
  2. Use the knife to cut the lemon into two halves.
  3. Place the sieve over the cup and squeeze out the lemon juice into the cup through the sieve.
  4. Add honey to the lemon juice
  5. Ensure that the affected area is clean and dry
  6. Soak a ball of cotton with this mixture
  7. Use the soaked ball of cotton to apply this mixture directly on the brown patches on skin.
  8. Let the juice settle for 30 minutes
  9. Use cold water to wash off the lemon juice
  10. Pat dry the affected are with a clean piece of cloth
  11. Repeat this twice a week for 2 months until you see a change.

2. Buttermilk

Butter milk is rich in lactic acid with helps in removing brown patches on skin but still keep your skin moisturized.

What you need

  1. Buttermilk
  2. Cotton Ball
  3. Water
  4. A clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Soak a ball of cotton with buttermilk
  2. Apply the buttermilk on the  brown spots on skin using the soaked cotton ball.
  3. Leave it for 5 minutes
  4. Wash it off using warm water
  5. Dry your skin using a clean piece of cloth.
  6. Do this every day for a month

3. Castor Oil

Castor oil is ideal when it comes to getting rid of brown spots or patches on skin. It is also an anti-bacterial agent.


  1. Castor Oil
  2. A Cotton ball
  3. Water
  4. A clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Ensure that the affected area is clean and dry
  2. Soak a cotton ball with the castor oil
  3. Apply castor oil directly on the affected area using the soaked cotton ball
  4. Gently massage the oil into the skin
  5. Let it settle and sink into the skin overnight
  6. Wash it off in the morning and dry your skin using a clean piece of cloth
  7. You can apply castor oil in the morning and evening until your skin gets well-toned.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar will dry out and clear brown spots and patches on skin. It helps in restoring uniform skin colour.

Skin discoloration, Hyper pigmentation
Skin discoloration, Hyper pigmentation

What you need

  1. Apple cider vinegar
  2. A Cotton Ball
  3. A clean piece of cloth
  4. Water

How to use it

  1. Ensure the affected area is clean
  2. Mix apple cider vinegar and water in the same ratio
  3. Soak a cotton ball with the mixture
  4. Apply the mixture on the affected area using the cotton ball
  5. Let it settle for 10 minutes
  6. Wash it off with cold water
  7. Pat the affected area dry with a clean piece of cloth
  8. Repeat this process once a day for 4 weeks

5. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has antifungal properties. It soothes the skin and rejuvenates it. Aloe Vera is ideal for clearing sun spots and fungal infections.


  1. Aloe Vera leaves
  2. A Sharp knife
  3. A mixer/ blender
  4. A container for collecting  the gel
  5. Soap
  6. Water
  7. A clean piece of cloth

Steps to follow

  1. Take two pieces of aloe Vera leaves and cut them on both ends. Use a knife to take out the upper green layer from the leaf in order to expose the thick aloe Vera gel in the leaves.
  2. In case you find any yellow liquid on the leaf, rinse it out with clean water.
  3. Peel off the green back of the leaf.
  4. The clear thick gel that is left is the aloe Vera gel.
  5. Cut the gel into small pieces and blend the gel into a liquid form.
  6. Apply the aloe Vera gel directly on the affected area
  7. Repeat this process 3 times a day until the brown spots disappear completely

 6. Sandalwood

Sandalwood has got antiseptic and anti-aging properties that are ideal for curing hyperpigmentation and lightening dark patches on skin.


  1. Sandalwood powder
  2. Rosewater
  3. Glycerine
  4. Lemon juice
  5. Water

What to do

  1. Mix two tablespoons of sandalwood powder, two teaspoons of rose water, one teaspoon of glycerin and lemon juice.
  2. Apply this mixture on the affected area
  3. Let it dry up
  4. Rinse it off with cold water
  5. Dry your skin using a clean piece of
  6. Repeat this process 3 times a week until you see a change

7. Horseradish

Horseradish has got skin lightening properties that are able to CorrecText skin pigmentation disorders.


  1. Horseradish
  2. A knife
  3. Pestle and mortar
  4. Water

What to do

  1. Peel off the back cover of horseradish
  2. Dice them into cubes using a knife
  3. Place them in the mortar
  4. Pound with a pestle to form a paste
  5. Apply the horseradish paste directly on the affected area
  6. Leave it on the skin for 20 minutes
  7. Rinse it off using cold water
  8. Repeat this 3 times a week until you see a change

8. Papaya

Papaya has got enzyme papain and alpha hydroxyl acids which help in skin exfoliation and reduction of liver spots. Do not use this remedy if you are allergic to papaya.


  1. Papaya
  2. Natural Yoghurt
  3. Natural Honey
  4. Water
  5. Jug
  6. Blender
  7. A clean piece of cloth
  8. Knife

What to do

  1. Peel off the back of the papaya and cut into half to remove the seeds
  2. Slice it and put it inside a blender
  3. Add half a cup of fresh yoghurt and 5 teaspoons of natural honey.
  4. Blend them together into juice
  5. Apply the juice on the affected area and gently massage it into your skin.
  6. Let the juice settle on the skin for 30 minutes and dry up
  7. Rinse it off using luke-warm water
  8. Do this twice a day until you notice some change

9. Yogurt

Natural yoghurt has got mild bleaching properties .It will lighten the skin and correct hyperpigmentation disorders.

What you need

  1. Natural yoghurt
  2. A Cotton Ball
  3. Cold water

What to do

  1. Take a shower
  2. Dry your skin
  3. Soak a cotton ball with natural yoghurt
  4. Apply the natural yoghurt on the affected area using the cotton ball
  5. Let it dry up
  6. Rinse it off with clean cold water
  7. You should use yoghurt therapy overnight

10. Onion Juice

Onions have got natural acid that acts as a bleaching agent on skin. It will fade dark brown spots on skin and make it have a uniform colour.


  1. 3 Onions
  2. A Knife
  3. A Clean piece of cloth
  4. Water
  5. Blender
  6. Regular shampoo
  7. Nit comb
  8. A clean towel

What to do

  1. Peel off the back cover of 3 onion
  2. Dice the onions
  3. Use a blender to grind them into a paste
  4. Apply the paste on the affected area
  5. Let it settle on the skin for 20 minutes
  6. Rinse it off using plenty of clean water
  7. Repeat this process 3 times a day for a month

When to see a dermatologist/doctor

Brown patches or spots on skin are usually benign. However, skin cancer can also resemble these spots do you should visit your dermatologists for a check-up if you notice any of the following changes on the brown spots on skin;

  1. They become darker or have a mixture of colors
  2. Sudden increase in their size
  3. Become itchy ,red and soft
  4. Begin to bleed
  5. They do not have a well-defined shape

According to NHS,” Changes to a mole or freckle can be a sign of skin cancer, which is why it’s so important to see your doctor straight away. Early detection makes it easier to treat. Seeing your doctor could save your life.

You may also see tiny red spots on skin


Most brown patches on skin do not have a special treatment since they are not life threatening. Home remedies can be used to lighten dark brown patches on skin.

Fungal infections like tinea versicolor can be treated using over the counter antifungal creams like ciclopirox and ketoconazole.Other over the counter medication for tinea versicolor include; clotrimazole, miconazole, selenium sulfide and terbinafine.

Laser surgery is also an option for getting rid of these ugly spots but your doctor will advise you whether it is appropriate or not especially after examining your medial history.




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