What are sun spots (brown spots)?
The sunspots can be darker or lighter than your normal skin tone and can occur in different shapes and colors. They usually occur on areas of the skin that get regularly exposed to sun, and particularly appear on your nose, cheeks, upper lip, ears, forehead, neck, arms, back of your hands. They might look like raised warts and cause slight itching. They may also look like scaly or rough skin lesion, and sometimes can be flat even.
What causes sun spots?
The sunspots on your skin, the so called solar lentingines, are caused by direct, prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays or from artificial sources of ultraviolet rays, like from a tanning bed. The people with lighter skin are more likely to get sunspots skin. Some people have sun allergies, which then can cause sunspots skin from being in sun for any length of time. And in some cases some people’s body produce an increased amount of melanin, which is responsible for developing darker areas on their skin. Other factor responsible for sunspots on skin is sunburn.
We all know the risk of sun damage to skin, such as sun burning or premature ageing. Increased exposure to sun leads to sun spots on skin, which can make you look older than your real age.
If you want your age spots to be less noticeable, treatments are available to lighten or remove them. Since the pigment is located at the base of the epidermis — the topmost layer of skin — any treatments meant to lighten the age spots must penetrate this layer of skin.
Age spot treatments include:
Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion. Dermabrasion consists of sanding down (planing) the surface layer of your skin with a rapidly rotating brush. This procedure removes the skin surface, and a new layer of skin grows in its place. You may need to undergo the procedure more than once. Temporary redness and scab formation can result from this treatment.
Microdermabrasion is a less aggressive approach that leaves mild skin blemishes with a smoother appearance. You’ll need a series of procedures over months to get the full effect. If you have rosacea or tiny red veins on your face, this technique could make the condition worse.
- Chemical peel. A chemical peel involves applying an acid, which burns the outer layer of your skin, to the age spots. As your skin peels, new skin forms to take its place. Several treatments may be necessary before you notice any results. Sun protection is strongly advised following this treatment. Temporary redness is likely, and there’s a slight risk of permanent changes in skin color.