Sun exposure is the culprit, the reason for those flat brown spots that show up uninvited on your skin. Are you familiar with them? Sun spots often make their debut on the sides of your face and neck, at points across your upper chest and on the backs of your hands.
Most people start to notice them in their 30s and 40s but particularly fair skin types might see evidence of them as early as in their 20s. Sun spots, or solar lentigines as they are also known, are the result of direct, prolonged exposure to ultra violet rays.
Once sun spots start to show up on your skin, you can expect them to darken and increase every time you’re exposed to another UV ray. Which, of course, is all the more reason to wear broad spectrum sun screen protection with an SPF of 15 or higher!
Generally speaking, sun spots are harmless. A true sun spot does not turn into skin cancer. However, skin cancer is sneaky and can mimic a sun spot so it’s a good idea to schedule regular skin check-ups.
Getting rid of existing sun spots can be accomplished in two ways:
1) through topical treatments
2) through cosmetic procedures
The natural route
There are a number of items you probably already have at home that can help diminish sun spots.
• A slice of fresh lemon or lime applied for 10-15 minutes each day
• Soak the spots in buttermilk for several minutes
• Apply vitamin E directly
• Slice a red onion and rub it over the spots
• Dip a green tea bag in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Squeeze the bag onto a cotton ball and rub over spots 2x daily
Over the counter products
These days many popular skin care companies feature a dark spot or tone correcting product in their line-up. Scan labels and look for ingredients like Kojic acid, azelaic acid, Tretinoin and Renova. Evidence indicates they’re helpful in reducing the appearance of sun spots.
Get tough on stubborn sunspots and schedule an appointment at our offices for:
• laser skin resurfacing
• chemical peels
Remember, prevention is the best cure! So wear protective clothing, a hat and apply sunscreen generously even on cloudy days. Take steps to put a stop to sun spots.