What are Sunspots?
Sunspots are a common skin problem, however they are not dangerous to the skin. To many they are just unsightly. They develop on the skin after prolonged periods of sun exposure. Any age can get sun spots, although those with lighter skin complexion are more susceptible to them.
Sun spots are also known as solar lentigines. They can vary in colour, shape and size and show up most commonly on the hands and face, or areas where there is the most sun exposure. It usually takes years or decades for sun spots to be formed on the skin. Do note that tanning booths or beds will often cause the skin to spot prematurely, which can darken over time.
Sun Spots Removal and Treatment
Should you have sunspots already, a great treatment that is very effective for eliminating sunspots is IPL technology (intense pulse light). In this process, a broad spectrum light will correct the sunspots. The wavelengths will penetrate deep into the skin to stimulate healthy cells, while the skin is rejuvenated and the sun damage is removed. The ultimate goal of using this technique is to make the skin more even, while decreasing the dark spots on the skin. Good candidates for this procedure are those with light to medium skin tones that have superficial pigmentation. It has been proven effective to use on the face, hands, neck, arms and other parts of the body. One to three treatments is usually needed to remove sun spots from the skin. Treatments will be scheduled at one month intervals. A word of caution to those that are looking into IPL. It is best to avoid the sun two weeks prior to treatment and another two weeks after. After each treatment, the sunspots will begin to get darker and then flake off. Treatments are completed within 15 to 30 minutes. Post treatment, the skin can be a little red, and may feel like you have encountered a sunburn. However, with this treatment, there is no down time needed so you will be able to resume your normal activities right after treatment.
Does IPL Hurt?
IPL technology does not hurt. There is a brief pinching sensation that is felt, but feels no worse than a rubber band snapping the skin. No numbing creams are needed for the procedure. Gel packs may be used before and after treatment to help with any pain that is associated with the treatment. Please also take caution in deciding who will perform IPL on you. Look for someone who has training, such as a dermatologist or a skin specialist. The skin specialist should be knowledgeable about the procedure and the machine, and should be able to answer any questions that you may have. Please read our article on how to choose the right laser clinic in Australia.
Sunspots IPL Treatment Before and After
How to Prevent Sunspots on Skin?
The best way to avoid sunspots is through prevention. Limiting the amount of sun exposure is the key way to avoid them. If you must be out in the sun, then keep all areas of the skin covered with loose material. Wear a wide brimmed hat to protect the face, and always wear sunscreen. Make sure the sunscreen contains both protections from UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before heading outside, and reapply it every 2 hours, or when the skin gets wet. Try to avoid the sun during peak hours, between 10 am and 4 pm.
Many do not realise this, but the car is where many get a high dose of UVB rays. See about installing an anti UVB ray coating on your vehicles windows for added protection.
At night, to help prevent sunspots, consider applying a moisturiser with retinol. This vitamin A compound will help to restore the skin, making sun spots less noticeable. At Advanced Dermatology we offer skincare which has been clinically proven to help reduce the appearance of sun spots and other skin conditions which may show sings of ageing. For more information see Advanced Dermatology Skincare.