So you’re thinking, “Dr. Westreich, I listened! I wore my sunscreen daily and I am even using antioxidants now to fight free radicals, but I am still getting these brown spots. What can I do?”
Many people only became hip to the sunscreen bandwagon within the last 10-15 years and therefore accrued years of damage that is just now surfacing. Generally, sunspots are caused by prolonged periods of sun exposure that have accumulated over the years: that’s where the “age spots” moniker comes in. These ‘spots’ take years to amass, so they are most likely to be seen in adults in their forties and above. Even with good sun habits, there are additional triggers:
- Improper use of ingredients
Whether you refer to them as solar lentigines, dark spots, age spots or liver spots, these brown speckled patches of skin are not to be ignored. The skin has many telling signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles but sunspots are (understandably) still the bane of many people’s existence, as they can be very difficult to treat.
Are Sun Spots Dangerous? Cancerous?
It is true that regular sunspots are not dangerous, and do not require treatment. Some sunspots can resemble cancerous growths so it is important to know what you are looking for. Always seek out the advice of your doctor or trusted dermatologist for spots that are growing or changing over time. Dr. Westreich can neatly remove moles, and raised brown spots or other skin growths from your body without leaving noticeable marks. Although not cancerous and physically innocuous, sunspots are unattractive and take away the natural beauty found in have evenly colored skin.
Know your A, B C’s
The following traits may reflect melanoma and should be checked out by a doctor:
- A: Asymmetry: One-half of the lesion does not mirror the other half
- B: Border: The borders are irregular or vague
- C: Color: More than one color is noted within the area
- D: Diameter: A size greater than 6mm (roughly the size of a pencil eraser) should always be checked out.
- E: Evolving: Notable changes to the lesion over time is suspicious and can be signs of melanoma.
Types of Sun Spots
If you have sun damage, it usually falls under these categories:
- Cherry hemangiomas: Small red dots caused by an overgrowth of blood vessels in the skin. They are not harmful and can appear anywhere.
- Solar Lentigines are flat, can be gray or brown and look similar to freckles. They result from sun exposure.
- Actinic keratosis: also known as solar keratosis, are small rough or scaly areas of skin due to damage from sun exposure.
Treatments for Persistent discoloration and/or raised lesions
Dr. Westreich can neatly remove moles, and raised brown spots or other skin growths from your body without leaving noticeable marks. Although not cancerous and physically innocuous, sunspots are unattractive and take away the natural beauty found in having evenly colored skin. Dr. Westreich is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon that has expertise in skin-related conditions. He offers different treatments to lessen the appearance of your dark spots and products to help prolong the results. Dr. Westreich also has an experienced aesthetician on staff who can help you maintain your best skin. Ask her for an individualized skin analysis and a plan that suits your budget and your needs. Call our office or send us an email to get started!