Sunspots, also known as ‘liver spots’ are something that many of us face throughout our lives. While we haven’t had the longest or hottest of summers this year, sunspots and freckles are a common issue that many of us face after spending too much time out in the sun. While sunspots are harmless, for those wanting to understand more about them and how to prevent them, we’ve compiled our expertise and knowledge to help.
What Exactly Are Sun Spots And What Causes Them?
Sunspots are blemishes that appear on your skin after prolonged periods of time in the sun. While technically harmless, these flat brown or pigmented spots can affect any part of your body that is typically exposed to the sunlight, including your face, shoulders, back, arms and the back of your hands. While most common in people over the age of 40, it’s still possible to develop these spots earlier in life and for some, can be a point of concern.
Other marks that are similar to sunspots include:
- Melasma – Melasma is another sun-related skin problem that mainly affects the forehead, cheeks, nose and upper lip. It appears as brown or grey-like patches on the skin, particularly in women. This skin condition is also harmless and only of aesthetic concern.
- Freckles – Freckles, while often looking similar to sunspots, are an inherited feature that is typically found on those with fair skin. They often become more noticeable in the summer and can even disappear in winter. These marks are also harmless.
- Birthmarks – Birthmarks, in general, are harmless and can vary drastically in appearance. If you’ve had the mark for as long as you can remember, this could be a birthmark. If you are unsure, you can always speak to your doctor or a dermatologist.
- Skin Cancers – Skin cancers can often appear as moles and while many moles are harmless, a new, growing or changing mole could be a sign of possible skin cancer. If you’re unsure or the spot you’ve noticed has grown quickly or changed in appearance, speak to a doctor as soon as possible.
While sunspots are harmless, there are ways you can avoid them as you grow older in order to prevent the aesthetic concern that comes with having them. In general, the best way to avoid sunspots is to avoid and reduce your exposure to the sun – in particular, the UVA and UVB rays. You can do this by:
- Applying sunscreen when going outdoors
- Avoiding the sun between 10am and 3pm
- Reapplying sunscreen regularly
- Use makeup and other cosmetics that have an SPF
- Cover up
- Don’t use or stop using tanning beds
If you’ve already been affected by sunspots and prevention is no longer going to be effective, there are things you can do to reduce their
- Laser Treatment
For those wanting permanent removal of sunspots, laser treatment offers a solution. Laser pigmentation treatments can offer an effective solution for sunspots by utilising laser technology to break up the pigment and bring back a more even complexion. Utilising some of the best technology available to us, we carefully direct pulses of light energy to the area you’re looking to target. The melanin in the sunspots then absorbs this energy, creating heat which ultimately breaks down the pigment cells without causing any damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.
It can take 1-3 sessions on average to target pigmented skin and sunspots, though this may vary depending on the severity of the spot or how large the area is as a whole
- Home Remedies
While home remedies aren’t as effective as laser treatment for removing pigmentation completely, they can be a useful way to tackle early signs of sunspots or to maintain them while waiting for your laser treatment. Using natural ingredients, you may be able to lighten the spot slightly – some of these ingredients include Aloe Vera, Licorice Extract, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Apple Cider Vinegar, Green Tea, Lemon Juice, Honey, and Black Tea Water.
For more information about our laser treatments or to book a consultation or treatment at our clinic here in Southend on Sea, feel free to get in touch with a member of our friendly team, today.