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.

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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.

16 replies
  1. Ellen1
    Ellen1 says:

    Sun spots had once gotten the best of me. I had them on my arms. I always was good about applying sunscreen to my face but never got my arms. After years of sun exposure, it caught up with me and my fair skin. So I had some IPL done. I have had two treatments and go in in another week to do a third. It is not uncomfortable to me at all. My dermatologist used cooling packs to help with any discomfort and these really do work. I am excited about how much my skin has improved since I had the first two treatments done and it will only get better with the third treatment. My dermatologist was going to let me know if he thought that I needed a forth treatment done at my next appointment. I do urge you to look into this method to see if it is right for you if you do have sun spots. Your skin can be even and beautiful once again.

  2. little_lamb
    little_lamb says:

    I have sun spots on my face and hands. I have been using lemon juice on them to help fade them. While this method is gradually working, I am not so sure that it will completely get rid of them. I apply lemon juice to my face and hands and leave it set on for about 15 minutes before rinsing off. I am interested in using the IPL method. It seems like it really does work, and I am all for that. I will have to check with my dermatologist to see if they do this in their office.

  3. Arianna S
    Arianna S says:

    I have had severe sun spots on my arms and hands. I am 50 years old but my skin was looking like I was in my 60s! So I decided to have IPL done on my arms and hands. I had 3 treatments done. The treatments were scheduled for me about a month apart, so within 3 months time I was done. I can not believe the amazing results that I have had with IPL. Some are just amazed that light can do this to the skin! It corrected my sun spots and my arms and hands actually look normal now, like that of a 50 year old. I recommend having this procedure done. It is not at all painful. There was some mild discomfort, but that has to be expected when you are dealing with getting skin removed. The skin did just flake off, yes it got slightly darker to begin with, but afterward, once the skin flaked, my skin was fine. If you have sun spots and are at your wits end, do IPL. You will see results that do last!

  4. Susan O.
    Susan O. says:

    I am very concerned about sun spots on my face and arms. I remember as a child sun screen was not something that you applied. I rarely had it applied, I guess it was just due to the times. I am very faithful now about applying sunscreen but fear that damage may already be done to my skin. I do not have any sun spots now on my arms or face. I know that my grandmother had them really bad but back when she was a child and into her adult years, sunscreen was not a common practice. I feel that they are very unsightly. I am going to make every effort that I can to avoid them. I always wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 50. However I do not apply it 20 minutes before heading outdoors. I guess that this will be a change that I am going to have to make to keep my skin healthy.

  5. Michelle L.
    Michelle L. says:

    I have sunspots on my arms, and before it didn’t bother me. But now these sunspots on skin started to react to some products I began to use, and they turn to a different colour. Is it possible they turn to orange? Is this normal? It kind of scared me. I read a lot about fraxel, and how multi purposeful it actually is. Can it help remove these sunspots? And also, another questions since I am kind of scared… Can sun spots be dangerous and lead to skin cancer? Don’t want to sound paranoid, but I want to know what signs to look out for, without having to run to the doctor every month to check upon them. Thanks!

  6. Geneva
    Geneva says:

    Hey, I am 27 years old, caucasian with skin sunspots on my face. I use a cream for sunspots, but the doctor recommended I go for a check, because he saw them and asked what they are. I thought it was nothing, because they are looking like freckles, but he was obviously concerned, and now I am waiting for an appointment with a dermatologist. What could it be? I have light skin, and the sun gets me quickly. I don’t burn usually, because I use a lot of sunscreen, but the sunspots always appear they are inevitable. They never itch or anything, they are just there. Why would the doctor refer me to the dermatologist?

  7. Lost
    Lost says:

    Are there any other treatments at AD that are effective as this fraxel? I was wondering how to get rid of sunspots, and then came across this article, which lead me to consider different options? But all I keep reading about is the fraxel laser. Can you get rid of sunspots with IPL treatments? I’ve read they are a little bit more mild, but effective as well? Lots of good reviews on that one…

  8. Someone
    Someone says:

    What do sunspots look like? I have white dots all over my face, on my nose and cheeks, and forehead. I noticed they developed after the summer vacation, didn’t pay much attention to it, but they are starting to bother me now, because other people have made comments about it, asking what it is. What causes sunspots, except the sun? Can it be anything else? Hopefully, some of your experts can answer this questions, and I thank you in advance!

  9. Grace
    Grace says:

    I have had the fraxel treatment and it’s really amazing. I am 40 and removing sunspots from my face has been easy as pie with this treatment. First of all, it doesn’t hurt, like many speculate always. And secondly, it only took me three visits to be satisfied with the results. And you can imagine that at forty, it’s not just a couple of spots on your nose, but it’s predominant all over the face. Removing sunspots is the easiest part ladies, try to prevent from getting the sunspots again. Now that’s the big trick. The doctor was honest to me, so I will be honest with you. Although I love the fraxel treatments, and I would love to do it again sometime, it’s really not a thrill to go every day and not take care of yourself. Use sunscreen, and don’t go out in the sun, because these little things are really persistant! Keep on applying moisturizers, because they are your best friend at every age, and don’t expose your skin to harmful sun rays if not necessary. What’s a good tan if you don’t have good skin.

  10. Asian
    Asian says:

    I am 34 year old Asian with sunspots on my cheeks that won’t go away. I’ve tried several IPL treatments and for about three months, but I saw no improvements. I do have sensitive skin, but I thought to see some improvements. I don’t like sunspots on the skin, it makes me look older than I am. I don’t like that. Facial sunspots are so persistent. Is there a way to remove them quickly, with one treatment? Don’t try the IPL. I don’t like it at all. It’s no good.

  11. other options?
    other options? says:

    I am so desperate to remove the sunspots on my arms. I have been to several doctors who all recommended me laser treatments, but I just wouldn’t go for it because I felt uncomfortable with these people. They don’t give me a check-up and recommend lasers for removal of sunspots immediately. How is that possible? Can I schedule a consultation first at AD? I would love to get checked out the current sunspots I have, and to know all about how to get rid of sunspots, laser free! There must be other options beside that.

  12. Lemon lady
    Lemon lady says:

    Have you tried using lemon? Lemon has acids and I’ve heard it’s great for rubbing it on your spots. Not those who have been there for ages, but for those who have recently appeared on your face, while they are still fresh. I’m all for natural medicine, and home made creams and products, so I’ve done my research. Maybe you can try doing something with lemon.

  13. Lovi
    Lovi says:

    I’m starting to ask myself do sunspots go away, ever? Do they fade away? Sunspots today seem like an incurable disease! Next year, I will definitely stay out of the sun and not go anywhere unless necessary. I don’t see other ways to avoid getting the solar sunspots. Ugh, they are so annoying you guys!

  14. Spotty
    Spotty says:

    I am considering getting the fraxel too. Not because I am scared or anything, but simply for aesthetic purposes. Who wants to have spots on their skin, it’s making me look like grandma! I have many sunspots on face, specifically on my nose, and the area around it. I’ve done at home peels, and chemical peels, and they seemed to help for a while, but it’s not complete. Whatever I do, they are still there, not moving. So, has anyone had experience with fraxel repair or fraxel restore? I heard both were great alternatives for removing sunspots, but what are your thoughts on that? Is it really going to remove them?

  15. melissa
    melissa says:

    im am 16 and have damaged skin i have about 7 really dark sun spot on my face alone and im wondering in the future if i should risk damaging my skin with the lazer or do the natural method


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