Sun spots (otherwise known as lentigines) are scattered tan brown spots on the skin, usually in the most sun-exposed areas. Melasma is similar in pigmentation, it is also tan brown to dark brown but tends to be bigger splotches of pigment that only occurs on the face. These areas start as brown spots that may become more numerous or widespread, but they do not start as acne, or moles, or anything else. Both conditions are extremely common and sometimes they can be indistinguishable.
Sun spots are purely caused by sun exposure (Ultraviolet (UV) radiation). If you are fairer in complexion, then you will be more likely to develop more of them earlier in life, so there is some genetic predisposition of sorts.
You get sun spots wherever you’ve gotten the most sun. That’s typically on the face, but they can be found on the chest, arms, or upper back.
How do we treat sun spots?
This pigment can be removed in a variety of ways – with topical brightening treatments (creams, lotions, pads), chemical peels, lasers, or microneedling. Treatment often requires a combination of things that certainly involves sun protection, lightening existing pigment, and prevention of new pigment formation.
Chemical Peels (medical grade) are treatments that are applied to the skin by one of our aestheticians in the office. It usually causes the skin to peel a few days after application. The specific formulation of the chemicals in the chemical peel is designed to target discoloration, acne, or other skin conditions. Chemical peels are a key treatment option for discoloration, blemishes and blotchiness.
Microneedling is a procedure where tiny needles puncture the skin in a repeated and controlled manner. The needles spark the natural healing process in the skin, to make new fresh skin and repair scars and damaged skin. For discoloration, the treatment is combined with an infusion of brightening solutions to penetrate deeply and even skin tone and color.
CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing is a powerful laser treatment that smooths and tightens skin. The energy from this laser can blast away skin that shows deep scars, wrinkles, and other textural changes. Using lighter settings of the CO2 resurfacing laser can help improve mild textural defects.
Laser Skin Rejuvenation with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a way to improve skin texture and color with a laser-like device. IPL treatments, also known as photofacials, help with red and brown discoloration on the skin, especially sun damage, sun freckles, and general aging process to improve radiance