How can brown patches on the skin be treated?

Q. How can brown patches on the skin be treated?

Answered by
Dr. Sunil Kumar Kothiwala
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 19, 2017 and last reviewed on: Jul 14, 2023

Hello doctor,

My aunt has had skin problems for the past six months. She gets brown patches. She locally met a doctor who gave her a cream called Subban after applying and the brown patches turned reddish. Someone told her to apply camphor and coconut oil, after which the situation deteriorated, and the patches became more prominent. Now she has stopped applying anything to her skin. Please help her to overcome this skin disorder. I have attached photos for your reference.



Welcome to

The basic problem here is melasma. She has brownish-pigmented patches that are usually developing on her face. They occur because of female sex hormones called estrogen or ultraviolet rays exposure or cosmetic overuse, or nutritional deficiency like iron etc. Camphor many times irritates the skin. But before that, I would like to know did she apply anything else with Subban (Octyl methoxycinnamate, Titanium dioxide, and Oxybenzone), like some skin-lightening cream. As with sunscreen alone, it is less likely to become red. Anyways, now she has developed irritant contact dermatitis. Currently, she needs a good moisturizer and one low potent anti-allergic cream.

I suggest you use Evion (Aloe Vera and Vitamin E) cream locally twice a day. You can also use Desowen (Desonide Topical) gel twice a day for five days and then once a day for five days. If the irritation still persists, you can use it on alternate days. I suggest you also take Levocetirizine one tablet as required. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her, and with their consent, take medicine. In the meanwhile, as a precaution, avoid excess sun exposure.

Thank you doctor,

She used Elocon for six months as advised by some doctors, but as there was no benefit, she went to one more doctor, and there she was told that Elocon is a steroid and she should stop using it. She stopped using it one month ago. Now, she is using Cetaphil cleanser twice a day only. There was no itching or burning sensation, and she did not apply anything else along with the Subban cream. Kindly prescribe some ointment for melasma.



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Elocon (Mometasone Topical) is a mid-potent topical steroid and should not be used on the face without a dermatologist's advice. She should not have continued beyond the time period.

Anyways, I told you about the treatment in the earlier reply. So you can start that and let me know in 15 days. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her, and with their consent, take medicine.

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.. read your question and understood your concern. Melasma can relapse. Therefore, you must continue with a maintenance regime once your melasma clears. I suggest you to use a higher SPF sunscreen like Sebamed sunscreen SPF 50+.   Read full

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