What are Sunspots / Age Spots / Liver Spots?
Have you noticed freckle-like patches of skin appearing on your face or other parts of your body? If so, you may be developing sun spots. Otherwise known as age spots or liver spots, these patches of skin are flat, dark hyperpigmentations of your skin that appear as a result of sun damage. These unwanted spots appear on areas of the body that have been frequently exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, chest, arms and hands. Chances of developing sun spots increases with age, as does the noticeability of existing spots.
If you notice that your spots are growing increasingly larger, darker or itchy, please seek immediate medical attention, as they could be indicative of a form of skin cancer known as melanoma.
What causes sun spots?
Sun spots typically develop after extended sun exposure, especially when accompanied by frequent sunburns. Ultraviolet rays increase the production of melanin, which is the element responsible for producing pigmentation. An overproduction of melanin causes bursts of hyperpigmentation or discoloration, like which can result in the presence of sun spots.
Routinely exposing skin to the sun or regularly subjecting it to harmful effects of tanning beds dramatically accelerates production of melanin. Additionally, melanin production increases as part of the natural aging process, causing the skin to become more prone to developing sun spots. Genetics also play a major role in the development of sun spots, as does being fair-skinned.
How can sun spots be treated?
For at-home care, it is suggested to use skin lightening and brightening creams daily to reduce the appearance of sun spots. A cream that contains glycolic acid will not only exfoliate your skin, it will also aide in the fading any skin discoloration. Then, application of a vitamin C serum,will brighten the skin and help to restore its youthful, healthy glow.
For a more aggressive approach, you may wish to look into microdermabrasion, medical grade chemical peels or laser treatments. Microdermabrasion is the technique of exfoliating the top layers of the skin to remove dead cells, smooth out wrinkles and reduce dark spots, such as liver spots. A medical grade chemical peel resurfaces the skin by eliminating dead skin cells. As a result, pigmentation that is closer to the surface of the skin is substantially minimized.
Laser treatments like Lutronic’s Spectra and Syneron’s FotoFacial RF are proven to break-up hyperpigmentation of the skin. The Spectra is a Q-switched laser that neutralizes the melanocytes that produce melanin. The FotoFacial RF utilizes focused light energy and radiofrequency to deeply penetrate layers of skin, leading to reduced discoloration and brightening of the skin.
It is important to see a doctor about your condition is because sun spots are commonly confused with a similar-looking skin condition known as melasma. Melasma is hyperpigmentation of the skin caused by a malformation of melanocytes, the cells that create melanin. Melasma also requires a different treatment plan and a misdiagnosis could lead to further damage of your skin.
At RejuvaYou, we always perform a Visia Skin Analysis during our Free Evaluation to determine if there are any underlying conditions. Based on your skin type and severity of issues, we can determine the most effective protocols for your treatment. Just click on the link below and schedule a Free Evaluation.