A Complete Guide to the Treatment, Prevention, and Causes of Sun Spots

The sun can take a major toll on your skin. Learn more with this complete guide to the treatment, prevention, and causes of sunspots.

Have you noticed dark spots on your skin?

Are you tired of trying to cover hyperpigmentation with makeup?

Thankfully we have all of the nitty-gritty details on sun spots and skin discoloration. Keep reading and we will tell you about sun spot removal and prevention.

What Are Sun Spots 

Sunspots are flat brown spots that develop after exposing your skin to the sun. They are also known as liver spots or solar lentigines and are very common. 

Typically the spots are round or oval, can appear as one spot or also in clusters, and can range from light brown to black.

Sunspots are more common in people with fair skin and people over 40 years old, and they vary in size. The most common spots for sunspots are places with a lot of sun exposure like your face, back of your hands, shoulders, and forearms. 

Sun spots aren’t exclusive to women, men can also experience hyperpigmentation. Everyone ages and everyone encounters the sun.

Sunspots are usually harmless but most people like to have them taken care of for self-esteem or appearance reasons. 

Now that you know what sun spots are, are you curious about what you can do to prevent or treat your skin?

Professional Sun Spot Removal

Sunspots are typically harmless and benign but can be treated for cosmetically.

There are multiple types of professional care you can seek out, including:

  • Laser resurfacing
  • Intense pulse light (IPL)
  • Cryotherapy
  • Chemical peels
  • Microdermabrasion
  • At-home care

The PicoWay Resolve Laser delivers ultra-short laser pulses beneath the skin in order to significantly minimize sun damage in 10-15 minute sessions. 

Cryotherapy freezes them off with a liquid nitrogen solution. This process only takes a few minutes. 

Chemical peels and Microdermabrasion both involve removing a layer of skin. Chemical peels apply a coat of acid to the surface that will eventually peel that layer off along with the wound. Microdermabrasion removes the layer of skin using an abrasive tool. 

At-Home Remedies

If you don’t want to go in for professional procedures, there are some at-home remedies as well. 

Vitamin C, milk, aloe vera, and black and green tea are all at-home remedies you can explore

Vitamin C helps brighten the skin. You can increase your intake through your diet or applying topically. 

Different types of milk you can help lighten your sunspots. The lactic acid in milk is known to help even out skin. 

Similarly, black and green teas have properties that result in skin lightening. If it is applied to the skin regularly, you will see gradual results in 4-8 weeks. 

Aloe Vera is known to soothe sunburns. Aloe contains aloesin and aloin that help brighten hyperpigmentation. 

A vital step in treating sunspots at home is exfoliating your face and body. Your skin rejuvenates every four weeks, and exfoliating helps rid the dead skin cells, which help efficiently heal hyperpigmentation. 

You can treat sun spots with various skincare products like:

  • Azelaic acid 
  • Arbutin 
  • Bergamot 
  • Kojic acid 
  • Lactic acid 
  • Mulberry 
  • Niacinamide 
  • Vitamin C 

Incorporating some of these products into your daily skincare routine are ways to noticeably brighten your skin and heal some imperfections. 

According to Healthline, you should see your doctor about a spot on your skin that concerns you, or:

  • is dark
  • is growing in size
  • has an irregular border
  • is itchy, painful, red, or bleeding
  • is unusual in color

How to Prevent Sunspots

There are some easy ways to prevent sunspots; most include precautions before entering sun exposure. 

Sunscreen is the most well known preventative for sunspots and hyperpigmentation. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen will protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays.

The sun protection factor (SPF) should be 30 or higher to have the best results. You should apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before heading outdoors and reapply every two hours.

You should always apply sunscreen to your face since the skin is more sensitive on your face. You can find moisturizers with SPF included as an easy way to keep your skin protected. 

Covering up with a hat and clothing is another way to protect your skin, especially if you aren’t planning to wear sunscreen. 

Wide-brimmed hats or clothing made out of a tightly-woven material is best to cover your arms and legs.

Did you know the sun’s harmful UV rays are strongest between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm?

It’s best to try to avoid being in the sun between these hours and seek shade during midday. 

You can try bringing an umbrella to the beach, finding a cabana by the pool or even asking to sit in the shade on a patio. 

Vitamin C was mentioned above as a treatment, but did you also know it can help prevent skin discoloration? 

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and by applying topically or intaking through your diet, it can help protect against UVA and UVB rays.

Tanning beds are one of the worst offenders. According to Yora, tanning beds can increase the risk of melanoma, a type of skin cancer, by 74%. 

By taking precautions you instantly decrease your chance of getting sun spots. Why not do what you can to keep your skin fresh?

So What Does This Mean?

Sun spot treatment comes in many forms, and it’s up to you on how aggressive you want to be when preventing, treating, or diagnosing. 

You shouldn’t be afraid of going outside and causing sun damage. Instead, you should just be aware and take precautions. 

If you’re looking for more resources, you can check out Better Off for skin treatments and medical information.