Sunspots are one of the most common skin conditions that you probably heard about, or you might have it, but you don’t know too much about it, and you might have a lot of questions.
It’s always blissful to spend nice time outside in the warm and sunny weather, but unfortunately, it comes with a price. Sunspots, or also known as age spots or liver spots, is a very common skin condition. It mostly occurs to people with fair skin or to people above the age of 40, but the younger ones can have them as well.
Sunspots on the skin are basically flat brown spots that can be caused by sun exposure. They are called melanocytes. UV radiation can multiply their number in the pigmented skin cells.
But what is the right treatment against them? Let’s dive in and get the answers to your questions.
What are Sunspots on Skin?
Sunspots are brown and flat spots that grow on those areas of your skin where the sun overexposures with UV rays. They mostly known as liver spots or age spots as well; however, they don’t cause anything to your liver. Sunspots are not a dangerous skin condition.
Causes of Skin Sunspots
Their sizes and shapes can vary, and they usually occur in those areas of the body that have got the most sun exposure. Other possible causes can be skin aging, ultraviolet light exposure (UV), and tanning beds.
Most likely, these sunspots appear on the areas of your skin that received the most sun exposure, including:
- Upper back
- Back of the hands
Sunspots on the skin are not harmful at all, but they are not good looking either, and they can be easily removed with cosmetic treatments.
Symptoms of Sunspots on Skin
Sunspots are common in people with lighter skins, but it may affect any skin types. Sunspots are:
- Mostly tan, brown, or black
- Show up on that part of the skin that received the most sun exposure over the years, such as the face, back of the hands, shoulders, top of the feet, or the upper back
- The shape of them is flat or can be oval areas of increased pigmentation
Sunspots range from freckle-size, which is usually ½ inch big, but they also can group together, and that will make them more noticeable.
Sunspots are not harmful, and they don’t require medical care. You only need to make an appointment with your doctor when you notice any new skin change such as
- Having an irregular border
- Darkly pigmented
- Accompanied by redness, itching, bleeding, or tenderness
- Rapidly increasing in size
- Having unusual color combinations
Risk Factors of Sunspots on Skin
Most likely anyone can get sunspots on their skin, but you should be more careful to avoid the sun exposure if you have
- Very light skin
- History of sunburn or intense or frequent sun exposure
The risk factors are usually higher on these kinds of skin types.
Prevention of Skin Sunspots
You can easily avoid getting sunspots on your skin after the right treatment if you follow some tips for limiting sun exposure:
- You should stay away from the sun between 10 am and 2 pm. The reason is that during this time the sun rays are the most intense, so try to schedule your outdoor activities before or after this time period.
- If you are planning to spend more time with outdoor activities in the sunny weather, apply a board-spectrum sunscreen on your skin that provides protection from UVA and UVB lights.
- Try to wear thin weave clothes which can cover your arms and legs, and a broad-brimmed hat because that provides more protection on your face and shoulders than a baseball cap or a golf visor.
You can buy clothes that specially designed to provide sun protection. Consider wearing clothes which are labeled with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UVF). The best protection factor is between 40 and 50.
How to Remove Sunspots from the Skin
Sunspots are not dangerous at all and don’t cause any health problems. Treatments are not necessary; however, some people don’t like to see them on their face or elsewhere on their skin, and they want to remove them.
You can find several medical procedures to reduce or to remove the sunspots from your skin. Just ask your dermatologist or skin care professional about what kind of treatment is the most appropriate to your skin type.
The procedures for sunspots on the skin include:
- Intense pulsed light treatment which produces a range of light waves that passes through the skin. The lights target the melanin to break up or destroy the spots.
- Chemical peels. The chemical peels remove the outer layers of the skin, and with this technique, new skin can grow instead.
- Laser resurfacing. During the session, the skin care professional uses a wand-wise device that delivers beams of light to remove the skin layer by layer. So, after the treatment, new skin can grow in the place of the old one. The therapy may take from 30 minutes up to 2 hours depending on how many sunspots need to be treated. The healing for the skin usually takes 10-21 days.
- Microdermabrasion. With this therapy, skin care professional gently removes the outermost layer of your skin with a special applicator that has an abrasive tip. The session takes about an hour, and it’s mostly painful. After the treatment, your skin will be pink, and it will feel tight, but it’s only temporary.
A professional skin care provider or your dermatologist may prescribe bleaching creams. These creams help to fade away the sunspots on your skin. With this technique, it usually takes several months to fade the sunspots away.
Be careful when you are using bleaching creams because your skin will be more sensitive to UV damage. Make sure to wear sunscreen when you go outside, even on the cloudy days.
Home Treatment for the Skin with Sunspots
There are also several home treatments that can help you to get rid of the sunspots from your skin.
You may try the following treatments at home to fade away the sunspots on your face:
- There are studies that show: if you apply some Aloe Vera plant on your face, you can lighten the sunspots.
- Using some apple cider vinegar, you may lighten your sunspots on your face because it has acetic acid, and it helps to lighten the skin’s pigmentation.
- Lemon juice may be very helpful, too, as a home remedy for lightening your skin. Some people swear: applying some lemon juice several times on your skin will fade away the sunspots.
- Some people suggest that if you apply some green tea on your skin, then it also will help to fade away the sunspots.
Sunspots on the skin are harmless, but they could be removed if they’re bothering you. If you notice any change in your sunspots, or if they get darker on your skin, you should consult with your dermatologist.