Sun Spots | Brown Spots

Sun Spots

Sunspots, or age spots, are unsightly tan-black splotches that arise on the face, neck, chest, and arms as people age. They are also called lentigines or liver spots. They appear as sharply defined, rounded, brown or black, flat patches of skin that may occur alone or in clusters. 

Other types of pigmentation include post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation, familial pigmentation on the cheeks, under eye circles, and melasma. These types of pigmentation often more difficult to treat than sunspots.

Sun Spots

Sunspots

Sunspots, or age spots, are unsightly tan-black splotches that arise on the face, neck, chest, and arms as people age. They appear as sharply defined, rounded, brown or black, flat patches of skin that may occur alone or in clusters. 

Other types of pigmentation include post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation, familial pigmentation on the cheeks, under eye circles, and melasma. These types of pigmentation often more difficult to treat than sunspots.

Sunspots usually worsen with age and typically occur on sun exposed skin or areas of prior sunburn. Sunspots are often easy to treat once the patient is on regular DAILY sun protection; however, once the melanocytes or skin cells that make pigment are stimulated, a big dose of sun can cause their return.

Because the development of sunspots require repetitive exposure to sun or sunburns, sun spots can also be a sign that you are at risk for precancerous spots and skin cancer. Therefore, if you have any spots on your body, we recommend a skin evaluation.

Common Causes of Sunspots Include:

Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun stimulates the melanocytes, the skin cells that produce pigment. Sun spots often present or worsen in summer because of the increase in UV light exposure.

Rarely, there are medications that can predispose you to sunburn, worsening lentigines, or pigmentation. It is, therefore, important to wear sun protection DAILY.

Although all people are at risk for sun spots, the lighter your skin tone, the more likely you are to get sunspots. Additionally, a person’s genetic makeup determines their likelihood of developing sunspots. Prevention is key. Daily sun protection, seeking shade, and medical grade anti-oxidants are the only way to prevent the development of sunspots.  

There are genetic conditions that can predispose you to sunspots. Those with an unusual number of sunspots (especially at a young age) or sunspots clustered in a single location (like the lips) should seek care and diagnosis from a board-certified dermatologist. 

Are Sunspots Treateable?

Absolutely! Providers at Cenla Dermatology select medical-grade skincare and procedures tailored to each patient. We offer many safe and effective treatments for sunspots like laser therapy, chemical peels, curettage, cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen, and electrocautery. A series of treatments is necessary for clearance, and maintenance treatment periodically is recommended.

Treating sunspots requires a partnership with the patient and a dedication to sun protection and safe sun practices. Strict sun protection and habitual skincare is critical to preventing sunspots.

The providers at Cenla Dermatology offer a variety of prescription and medical-grade topical options for fading and eliminating sunspots. These treatments provide additional benefits to improve the appearance and texture of your skin, such as softening wrinkles and tightening the skin. Our providers at Cenla Dermatology will help you choose the most effective way to treat and prevent sunspots. We offer skincare, lasers, and skin resurfacing for skin clarity and a more even complexion.