Do you have sunspots on your face? While it’s unfair, the same beach trip that gave you a tan when you were younger can trigger dark spots when you become older. Also referred to as solar lentigines, age spots, and liver spots, these pesky spots are caused by prolonged exposure to the sun. Those sunburns add up! And once you have them, they get bigger and darker with repeated sun exposure.
These ugly spots on the skin are not itchy, painful or harmful, but if you have several of them, it means you've spent a lot of time in the sun. This doesn't necessarily imply that you have skin cancer, but it does indicate that you have a higher chance of getting skin cancer on the areas of your skin that have a lot of sunspots. Sunspots are a sign that your skin has been considerably impaired by UV rays.
If you have sunspots that you don’t like seeing, there are numerous professional and at-home treatment options. In this blog, we will explore how to fade sunspots along with expert tips for sunspot prevention.
What are Sunspots?
Those flat brown or grey-brown spots on your skin are sunspots. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), sun dark spots are more common in women.
Sunspots and sun damage can happen to anyone, but those with pale skin or a history of skin cancer are more likely to develop them. People who have moles, freckles, light eyes, light hair, or who have a family history of skin cancer or UV damage are also more vulnerable.
Before we get started on how to remove sunspots from the face, let's try to figure out their cause.
The Science Behind Sunspot Formation
Sunspots are hyperpigmented skin blemishes that can be triggered by long-term sun exposure. These marks are a sign of too much fun in the sun. It can occur in any area of the body (such as face, neck, chest, or hands) that is exposed to harmful sunrays. They are induced by melanocytes (pigment cells) multiplying due to the sun's strong UV radiations.
Tyrosinase, an enzyme implicated in the formation of melanin pigment, can become overactive and induce irregular melanocyte activity. Some of you may also be genetically predisposed to getting those patches.
Afraid of sunspots appearing on your face? Keep scrolling to know the best strategies to get rid of them.
7 Amazing Ways to Get Rid of Sunspots on Face
Due to permanent damage to the skin, long-term sun damage can be challenging to treat. But don't panic! While you may not like the way they look, there is a plethora of good news for your sunspots. It is never too late to commence caring for your skin.
Below we have listed down 7 ways that will help you to tackle sunspots on skin.
Skin cells are programmed to create more dark pigment after UV damage to your skin. Future exposure to UV radiations will trigger sunspots to pop up faster than they did before. So, if you’re determined in your quest to prevent them from appearing, you need to diligently use sunscreen every single day.
A sunscreen with a good SPF is a must all throughout the year and not just the sunny months. For safeguarding your skin, choose a good sunscreen as per your skin type. Whatever SPF products you select, keep in mind to use them even when it's cloudy, because UV radiations can penetrate through the clouds.
2. Intense pulse light
By heating and dissolving melanin using pulses/beams of light energy, intense pulse light therapy (also known as a photo facial) targets sunspots. To get the desired result, you might require several sessions. Each session of laser treatment takes less than 30 minutes.
3. Chemical Peels
Using a chemical peel boosts your skin to shed its top layer of damaged cells, revealing healthier and more vibrant skin underneath. This cosmetic procedure encompasses the application of a gentle acid solution on sunspots.
Your skin sheds off its damaged outer layer and eventually reveals newer skin underneath. Those chemical peels also encourage collagen production, the protein that helps give skin its structure and also prevents wrinkles and fine lines.
4. Laser Skin Resurfacing
In this, a wand-like device shoots laser beams into your skin's layers until the sunspots are hidden. It removes sun-damaged skin layer by layer, allowing new skin to regenerate in their place. Skin healing may take 10-21 days.
Also known as cold therapy, it is quite effective to treat sunspots and other skin lesions. In this, skin lesions are exposed to immensely cold temperatures that aid to diminish sunspots. Using nitrous oxide or a liquid nitrogen solution is the best option.
This painless procedure encompasses exfoliation of the skin’s top layer, giving it a fresh start. Using an applicator with an abrasive tip, the skin's outermost layer is delicately removed. For removing dead skin, suction is then used. Possible side effects include swelling and temporary redness.
This minimally invasive derma roller procedure uses hundreds of small needles for creating ‘micro-injuries’ in the skin. This signals the body to generate more elastin and collagen to repair the impacted area.
Common applications of microneedling include reducing the appearance of sunspots, treating acne scars, pigmentation marks, wrinkles, and stimulating the synthesis of collagen.
Tips for Preventing Sunspots on Face
As summers approach, you need to be more vigilant about shielding your skin from deleterious UV radiation. Even if your skin isn’t prone to sunburns, you’re not inevitably risk-free from sunspots. Those obnoxious discolorations can leave you feeling self-conscious.
Professional medical treatments can help to decrease your sunspots. But, there are tremendous things you can do to keep up the results you love! Here are a few things you must try:
- Wear protective clothing, wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses
- Try anti-tan facials as they can help you tackle pigmentation and sunspots. Use an at-home anti-tan face kit or visit a salon or skin clinic to get it done by a professional.
- Stay away from the sun. Reduce your exposure to UVA and UVB rays. Refrain from being in the sun when it is strongest – typically afternoon
- Avoid the use of tanning beds
- Use an umbrella when you go to the beach
- Pick cosmetics with an SPF
- Choose topical products with active ingredients like retinoids (Retinol, Tretinoin, Tazarotene, Adapalene), Glycolic acid, Vitamin C, Azelaic acid, and Kojic acid. Favourite actives for facial sunspots treatment include Tretinoin (retinoic acid) and 2% hydroquinone.
- Go for home remedies like Lemon, Castor oil, Green Tea, Aloe vera, Apple cider vinegar, Papaya pulp, Buttermilk, Besan (gram flour), Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.
Erasing sunspots entirely may be a bit challenging! The best way to tackle them is to prevent them by restricting your sun exposure. Regular use of sunscreen is crucial. You can also opt for natural home remedies like lemon, papaya, gram flour, or castor oil to lighten sunspots and hyperpigmentation.
Sunspot removal medical procedures include microdermabrasion, chemical peels, cryotherapy, etc. Also, these treatments have added benefits, like glowing skin and fewer wrinkles. You might be wondering - Are Sunspots on the Skin Cancerous? So here’s the good news! Sunspots are non-cancerous and harmless.
They can be removed for aesthetic purposes. But, if you observe any kind of abnormality in their growth and number, you must consult a dermatologist. Some skin cancers resemble like sunspots and should not be ignored. Although sunspots are ugly, it's not something that you'll have to bear forever. Thanks to advancements in clinical dermatology!
Say Goodbye to Your Sunspots with the wide array of treatments available to cater to individual needs. For optimal results, combine these therapies with a revamped skin care routine to combat sunspots holistically.
Q. How to remove sunspots on face?
Ans. Sunspots on the face are the result of cumulative exposure to harmful UV rays. So, use sunscreen everyday. Intense pulse light, Microneedling, Microdermabrasion, Cryotherapy, Laser Skin Resurfacing, Chemical Peels, and Topical creams can help to remove them.
Q. Are Sunspots Dangerous?
Ans. Sunspots are neither cancerous nor harmful. To make sure they aren't something else, it's a good idea to see a dermatologist if you have blemishes that seem to be sunspots. Your dermatologist can ascertain your spots aren’t actually a sign of an illness that requires medical therapy.
Q. Does sunscreen help with sunspots?
Ans. Yes! Sun protection is important. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, using broad-spectrum sunscreen can aid to prevent the appearance of sunspots. With regular sunscreen use, you are less likely to encounter sunspots in the future.