Sunspots, also known as solar lentigines, are flat, brown spots that appear on the skin as a result of sun exposure. They are commonly found on areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, and arms. While sunspots are generally harmless, they may be a cosmetic concern for some individuals.
What Causes Sunspots?
Sunspots are caused by an increase in the production of the pigment melanin in the skin. Melanin is produced in cells called melanocytes and is responsible for giving color to the skin, hair, and eyes. When the skin is exposed to the sun, the melanocytes produce more melanin to protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays. This may result in the formation of sunspots. Tanning beds and other forms of excessive UV exposure may also lead to sunspots.
If you notice any changes in your skin, including the appearance of sunspots, it is essential to be evaluated by a dermatologist. Even though sunspots are generally harmless, they may indicate an underlying condition. The experienced providers at Academic Alliance in Dermatology can assess the condition of your skin and recommend a personalized treatment plan.
Risk Factors for Sunspots
It is important to note that sunspots may indicate the skin has been damaged by the sun’s UV rays. This damage may increase the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer. There are several risk factors for developing sunspots, including:
Having Fair Skin
People with fair skin are more prone to sunspots because their skin has less melanin, which provides natural protection from the sun. Those with fair skin should take extra precautions when spending time outdoors. Wearing clothing that covers the skin and using broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is recommended to protect the skin from harmful UV rays.
Living in an Area with High Levels of Sun Exposure
Those who live in areas with intense sun exposure, such as desert climates or areas near the equator, may be at higher risk for developing sunspots due to the high levels of UV rays they are exposed to. If you are new to an area, check the UV index to determine the strength of the sun’s rays and take appropriate precautions when spending time outdoors.
Sunspots may occur at any age. However, they are most common in people over 50. This is most likely because the skin’s ability to regenerate and repair itself decreases with age. Additionally, the skin may become less efficient at producing melanin, allowing UV rays to penetrate deeper into the skin.
Some individuals may be more prone to sunspots due to their genetic makeup. If you have family members with sunspots, you may be at a higher risk for developing them as well. Furthermore, if you or a family member have a history of sunburns or skin cancer, you should take extra precautions when spending time outdoors.
At Academic Alliance in Dermatology, our providers can examine your skin and determine the best course of treatment for your sunspots. We offer a range of treatment options, including topical creams, chemical peels, and laser therapies, to help improve the appearance of sunspots and protect the skin from further sun damage.
Even after treatment, it is important to continue to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays to prevent sunspots from resurfacing.
Treat Sunspots at Academic Alliance in Dermatology
Don’t let sunspots affect your confidence or skin health. Schedule an appointment and learn more about how Academic Alliance in Dermatology can help you get rid of sunspots and protect your skin.
From personalized treatment plans and experienced providers to cutting-edge technologies, we have the tools and expertise necessary to help you achieve your skin goals.