We love to love the sun, especially after a cold winter. And it’s true that the sun’s rays are harmful and can cause skin damage. This usually manifests as flat brown solar lentigines, also called liver or age spots. While most typically seen on fair skinned people over the age of 40, sunspots can appear on anyone, and they come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They’re a result of UV radiation spurring pigmented skin cells, or melanocytes, to multiply after the skin has been exposed to the sun. The good news is that real sunspots are not cancerous and are harmless. But it’s always good to check with your dermatologist that any spots you spot are age spots vs. skin cancer.
Start With Sun Smarts
Before we delve into the treatments, it’s important to understand how to avoid sunspots in the first place. Here are some easy and effective ways to keep your skin healthy and happy by limiting exposure while still getting to enjoy the sunshine:
- Go Outside During Non-peak Hours: The “hot spots” of the day are between 10 am and 3 pm, so if you can avoid being in direct sunlight during that window, you’ll avoid the chance of greater exposure.
- Use Protective Clothing: Pants and hats do a great job of blocking out UVA and UVB rays.
- Use Your Sunscreen: We can’t say this enough, and there’s a reason why this is dermatologists’ favorite piece of advice. Even cloudy days can let in 80 percent of UV rays, so you’ll need to apply sunscreen every day, whether or not you’re venturing outside. If you’re outside, make sure to reapply your sunscreen every two hours.
- Double Down with Makeup: Many moisturizers, foundations, and other skincare products also include an element of sun protection. By using these as well, you can provide extra protection for your skin.
Our Favorite Fixes
It’s almost impossible to avoid getting sunspots. However, you can fix them through a variety of treatments, both professional and home-based. Here are the most effective fixes for sun-damaged skin on your face, chest, shoulders, forearms, back of hands, legs, or other spots:
- Microneedling: Using tiny needles to puncture the skin and cause microwounds, the microneedling process helps rejuvenate the skin underneath and spur collagen production. It helps fade or remove sunspots in the process and can remedy acne scars, stretch marks, and other issues. We add radiofrequency to this to augment the effect.
- Chemical Peels: By removing a layer of skin, chemical peels also reveal the new skin underneath. Many times they are able to lessen the intensity of a sunspot or erase it altogether. They will also help eradicate fine lines and wrinkles as well as acne scars.
- Laser Resurfacing: A gentle light directed onto the skin can safely remove sun-damaged skin, which is replaced by new healthier skin over the course of the next week to three weeks, helping ease or eradicate sunspots. We work with HaloTM, a hybrid fractional laser that is highly effective at treating sunspots, C02 laser, a deeper fractional laser that helps with sun damage and wrinkles, and BBL or IPL, light treatments that are highly effective for pigment issues, both red and brown.
Related: 5 Things You Wanted to Know About the Halo Laser But Didn’t Ask.
Say Sayonara to Sunspots!
With these easy, painless professional and home treatments, you can bring back your sunny skin and take years off your face and other areas. At the Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery, we’ll work with you to find the sunspot solution that works for you. Talk with us today, and check back often, as we typically have discounts for our treatments. Get that glow without the sunspots!