Rising temperatures mean more time outdoors. Now is an excellent time to educate yourself on what the sun can do to your skin. If you value the health and appearance of your complexion, you should know the facts on sun spots. Sun spots on your skin can be a health concern as well as a threat to your confidence and aesthetics. Here are some FAQ’s about these unsightly areas of pigment that tend to pop up during the spring and summer months.
What Causes Sun Spots?
Just as the name suggests, sun spots are primarily caused by chronic sun exposure. They are also referred to as actinic keratoses or solar karatoses. Sun spots develop when UV light accelerates the production of melanin in the skin. This creates a localized area of uneven pigment or color. Fair-skinned people are more at risk for sun spots due to their increased sensitivity to sun exposure. Likewise, sun spots are more commonly found on older adults since our skin’s ability to protect itself against UV rays diminishes with age. For this reason, you may also hear sun spots referred to as “age spots”.
What Do Sun Spots Look Like?
Sun spots are dry, scaly bumps on your skin that are typically reddish-brown in color. These flat, tan bumps are often found on the neck, arms, shoulders, face or back of the hands.
Do I Need My Sun Spots Removed?
Patients with sun spots should consult a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and screening for skin cancer. While sun spots are not a sign of actual skin cancer, they can be considered as pre-cancerous lesions that could soon develop into squamous cell carcinoma if left untreated. Even when sun spots are not a health concern, many patients opt to have them removed for cosmetic reasons.
How Can Sun Spots Be Removed?
The great news about sun spots is that they can be effectively treated and removed. A skilled facial plastic surgeon can address sun spots and other areas of pigmentation on the face using safe, effective and non-surgical treatments. These in-office treatments for dark spots can include chemical peels, laser therapy and more.
How to Prevent Sun Spots?
If you’ve never dealt with sun spots, consider yourself fortunate. However, just because you have never had one, doesn’t mean they will not develop in the future. Staying on top of your skin’s sun protection is essential. Wear an SPF of 15 or higher, and look for sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection. Finally, make sure to reapply your sunscreen after two hours or following swimming or sweating.
Remember that sun spots represent a clear indication that the sun has damaged your skin. You can still find ways to love the sun this summer, but failing to protect your skin can eventually wreak havoc, not only on your skin’s appearance but also your overall health. Keep in mind that the sun can accelerate aging in the face, leading to sun spots as well as wrinkles. Contact Dr. Ben Talei today to learn more about how you can reverse sun damage on your face with our services in non-surgical facial rejuvenation.