Sunspots, also known as age spots or liver spots, are small, flat round spots on the skin that start to appear in seniors in the areas most exposed to the sun. They’re most common on the backs of hands, face, neck, and arms.
Sunspots are caused by accumulated sun exposure over the years. When you hear that the sun damages your skin, this is one of the most dramatic examples! The sun erodes melanocytes, which are special color-producing cells in your skin, and when they’re damaged, those cells overproduce melanin, causing sunspots. Sunspots may resemble freckles at first but can grow larger over time and even join together to become more prominent spots.
Who is the most at risk for sunspots?
Sunspots can affect anyone of any age and skin type, but a few kinds of people may see them more frequently.You are more prone to see sunspots as you age, especially if you have spent a lot of time in the sun, and if you have lighter skin, they will be more visible. Most of the time, you won’t see sunspots on people under 40, but there are a few rare exceptions.
How do you treat sunspots?
While they may look worrying, sunspots are benign and do not suggest cancer or any other skin disease. They do cause many patients to be self-conscious, though, and in that case, you may want to seek treatment. We have a few different possibilities for you, depending on your situation. Most sun spot correction can be done quickly in the office. Solutions include laser therapy and chemical peels. Alongside these treatments, medical bleaching that encourages sunspots to fade is also an option.
Laser treatments are a highly effective option for treating sunspots. The results with laser surfacing are excellent, with a smoother overall treatment area and lighter sunspots.
Like laser resurfacing, chemical peels will help create a smoother, lighter look. By removing the outer layers of skin, they encourage healing via your body’s natural healing processes to reduce the impact of sunspots on your appearance.
If in-office treatments don’t work for you, you may be able to obtain a topical cream that will help lighten the spot. While it doesn’t smooth the area in quite the same way as laser and chemical treatments, this is an easy, convenient way to treat your sunspots.
Not sure which one is for you? Talk to your board-certified dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology. They can get to know you, your life, and your budget and help you build a treatment plan that works for you. Contact us today for your free consultation!