Got Sunspots? Get Skin Laser Treatment Birmingham
Are sunspots overtaking your once silky smooth appearance? This can happen over time, especially if a heavy dose of sun accompanies your everyday habits. You might be wondering what you can do to remedy these brown patches. The answer is clearer than you might think: it’s Cahaba Dermatology.
Years take their toll on our skin. Sun exposure batters it as well. Couple the two together, and you have a recipe for facial blemishes to take shape on our faces. Past treatments that dealt with sunspots lacked consistency and were usually accompanied by burning and irritation. Nowadays, skin laser treatment is a safe and effective way to rid your face of sunspots and other age-defining signs.
By undergoing a short series of quick laser procedures, we can selectively delete these lesions. The treatment is performed in the office and you can expect to immediately return to your social or work schedule. We will recommend that you stay out of the sun, and we may also recommend a topical cream or lotion to optimize your treatment outcome. Your doctor will perform a thorough evaluation.
What Are Sunspots?
Liver spots, sunspots, brown spots, age spots. Different names, same condition. These flat patches of skin vary in name more than they do in texture or definition. Usually, these spots come in brown or black, lay flat, sport curvature, and are well-defined. Many think of them as similar to a large freckle; sun damaged age spots can come as a singular spot or cluster together.
What Causes Sunspots?
The reason behind sunspots remains hidden in somewhat of a mystery. Causes can run the scope , from UV exposure to simple skin aging.
That being said, sunspots do seem to have a hereditary component to them. Sunspots can appear at any age, even during childhood, but the majority ofcases show up in older generations. The skin’s exposure to the sun also seems to factor into sunspot development. These spots gravitate toward areas that receive ample sunlight, such as the face, the back of hands, shoulders, the upper back, and forearms. Intuitive at this point, people who spend more time out in the sun are more likely to see sunspots develop on their skin.
Are Sunspots Cancerous?
Thankfully, no. Whether they’re age-related or sun-related, sunspots are not cancerous, nor even are they precancerous. But they can be accompanied by actinic keratosis, which are precancerous, scaly, red skin elevations. Darkened spots may also couple with sunspots, which could be cancerous and will need evaluation.
Who’s At Risk for Sunspots?
Sunspots don’t discriminate: any person, regardless of race, sex, or age can witness their appearance on sun-prone skin. That being said, sunspots tend to affect people with certain factors present, including:
- Having fair skin;
- Being older than 40 years old;
- Experiencing frequent sun or tanning bed exposure.
Is Prevention Possible?
There’s not much you can do about the role genetics plays in the development of sunspots as time passes. That’s something beyond our control, which can be irritating, to say the least. However, excess sun or tanning bed exposure shouldn’t stay as a normal practice; avoiding it protects your skin from undue sun damage and lessens the threat of skin cancer.
Now, this is not to say that sun exposure should be avoided altogether. Ample sunlight offers plenty of benefits, including all-important Vitamin D, which can actually be good for your skin. But, if you believe you’ll be out in the sun for a long period of time, it’s best to apply sunscreen that meets minimum dermatological standards: at least 30 SPF.
What Are My Treatment Options?
While sunspots pose no threat from a purely medical standpoint, many find age or sunspots unsightly to look at. Depending on the severity and nature of the spots, dermatologists can take a few different routes to remedy sunspots, and even prevent them in the future. There are some over-the-counter and home treatments you can try, but they may not prove as effective as prescription medications or in-office visits.
Before seeking professional attention, many opt to try and counteract their sunspots with a variety of at-home and over-the-counter treatments. Creams marketed as anti-sunspot agents are in abundance, lining the shelves at drug stores and supermarkets. But, as mentioned prior, at-home creams may not carry the same potency or effectiveness as their prescription counterparts. When zeroing in on an at-home cream, favor one that contains glycolic acid, kojic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, hydroquinone, or deoxyarbutin.
You can also choose a purely cosmetic route to covering up sunspots. While cosmetics don’t remove age spots, they can conceal them, at least to some extent. See which brands best suit you and your efforts to cover up the spots that stick out to you. It may also be helpful to ask a counter clerk or sales representative for their opinion on the matter.
Prescription bleach creams may gradually fade the look of age spots. Hydroquinone usually counts as a mainstay for these types of creams, and retinoids such as tretinoin may also be present. The fault with prescription bleach creams lies in their time: they may take from a few months to a year to fade sunspots. Bleaching and tretinoin creams also increase your skin’s sensitivity to UV and sun damage. That means sunscreen is always a must, even on days that are overcast.
There’s a variety of medical procedures available to address unsightly sunspots. Many can provide safe and effective reduction or fading of the spots. Some are better suited than others depending on the severity or degree, which can be assessed in-office. Treatments in this vein include:
Chemical peels. Peels involve chemical solutions that remove the skin’s outermost layer so new skin can regrow. When done, healing in the face and hands usually takes one to two weeks’ time.
Dermabrasion. Dermabrasion is a treatment that lightly sands the outer layers of skin so new growth can take its place.
Cryosurgery. Cryosurgery freezes individual age spots with liquid nitrogen in order to remove them.
Intense pulsed light treatment. This treatment targets melanin with light waves, which results in a breakdown of the spots.
Laser resurfacing/surgery. Laser light beams lock on to the age spots, selectively eradicating the damaged layers of skin.
As for treatments aimed at prevention, sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 remains the tried-and-true method, especially if sun exposure is inevitable.
Remove Spots With Cahaba Dermatology
Sunspots, while harmless, can look less than pleasing to many. If your age or sunspots and their brownish hue bother you, it may be time to consult with a dermatologist about your options. Cosmetics and over-the-counter treatments may alleviate some of the definition, but true removal still relies heavily on a dermatologist’s help. Contact Cahaba Dermatology in Birmingham, AL if you’ve experienced sun damage, have age or sunspots, and want results you can see.