Solar lentigo, or as we know them, sunspots, happens when UV exposure fuels melanin’s production, causing your skin to darken. The spots are not painful, harmful, or itchy, but if you have many of them on your skin, it is a sign you have had a lot of sun exposure during your lifetime.
Sunspots are not a sign that you have skin cancer, necessarily, but it does show you have a higher risk of developing it on the region of your skin where there are sunspots. Most skin cancers, like squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, or even melanoma, can mimic sunspots in the early stages.
Dermatologist Russell Peckham said, “At first glance, skin cancer may look a lot like a harmless sunspot.” He mentioned the importance of having a dermatologist look at your skin once a year and see a doctor if the shape, size, or color of a spot changes.
Sun damage Effects on Aging Skin
Sun damage does not happen overnight. It is cumulative – occurring over a lifetime of repeated sun exposure. The damage accelerates the normal aging process. As you age, the effects of exposure to the sun take a toll on your skin. The sun’s UV light not only causes sunspots but also damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. Elastin breaks down causes the skin to stretch and sag with aging, which in turn causes the skin not to have the ability to stay full and plump. Sun damage can happen to anyone but are more common in those with previous skin cancer occurrences or those with light skin. People with freckles, moles, light-colored hair and eyes, or if they have a family history of skin cancer are at a greater risk.
Treatment for Sun Damage and Sunspots
Long-term sun damage is not easy to treat because damage to the collagen in the skin is not reversible. Sunspots usually fade some over time but will not typically disappear totally because the skin has experienced permanent damage. There are several treatments to reduce the appearance of sunspots. Acid peels and bleaching creams can make sunspots less obvious. Other treatments cryotherapy, chemical peels, and laser skin resurfacing, causing new skin to grow.
Limiting your sun exposure is the best way to deal with sunspots, according to Dr. Peckham. When exposed to the sun, even on cloudy days, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Remember to stay out of the sun when ultraviolet rays are strongest. Wear protective clothes, long sleeves, pants, UV-filtered sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat.
In general, sunspots on the face are nothing to worry about. If you happen to notice new marks or strange-looking spots on the skin, have them checked out by a dermatologist quickly to make sure it is nothing serious.
Sunspot Removal Consultation
If you are looking for a painless and effective way to get rid of your sunspots, you are the perfect candidate for laser sunspot removal. In three to five sessions, you will have the skin of your younger years once again. If you miss your youthful skin, contact Rejuvenation Laser & Skin Center. The professionals have helped many people just like you. Schedule your consultation with a specialist today.