Are sunspots cancerous? Are they avoidable? What causes sunspots, anyway?
Not surprisingly, these questions are extremely common for people with these flat, brown spots on their skin. If you’re one of them, keep on reading to learn everything you ever needed to know about sunspots.
What are sunspots?
Sunspots are brown, discolored patches of skin caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UVA/B) rays. Most commonly, people get exposed to these rays by spending too much time in the sun, although it’s possible to develop sunspots from tanning booths as well.
The spot itself is formed when your skin produces an excessive amount of the pigment melanin due to UV exposure. Usually, that pigment will be distributed relatively evenly throughout your skin, but with sunspots, the pigment is isolated to a single spot.
Can sunspots be cancerous?
Short answer: no. Sunspots signal the overproduction of pigment, whereas cancer is caused by overproduction of the cells themselves. Moles and melanoma, however, can look an awful lot like sunspots, and melanoma is the riskiest form of skin cancer.
How do I prevent sunspots?
It seems almost too obvious to say, but: stay out of the sun. Prolonged exposure to UV rays is what causes sunspots in the first place. If you’re going to be in the sun, make sure you’re wearing sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30. You should avoid tanning booths as well.
How do I get rid of sunspots?
If you Google that exact question, you’ll find tons of articles outlining different ways to combat and eliminate sunspots. People swear by a variety of methods, from applying certain over-the-counter creams to rubbing yourself down with red onion. But if you can’t get rid of your sunspots on your own, no worries: we can help.
Get Rid of Sunspots with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
Intense Pulsed Light treatments are similar to the laser treatments you’re probably familiar with for skin resurfacing and hair removal. IPL uses more than one color of light wavelength, however, unlike lasers.
IPL works by heating deeper layers of skin with light energy. That heat actually breaks up the brown hyperpigmentation under the skin and disperses it, causing your sunspot to fade and eventually disappear.
Get Rid of Sunspots with Microdermabrasion
Unlike IPL, microdermabrasion works directly on the surface of the skin. Using the FDA-approved Bella microdermabrasion machine, our technician manually polishes away the top layer of skin, exfoliating and sloughing away dead skin cells. This process also leads to decreased production of the darker pigments that cause discoloration, breaks down the pigment deposits that are already present, and promotes an even skin tone overall by accelerating skin cell re-growth.
Get Rid of Sunspots with Chemical Peels
Chemical peels work in the same way that microdermabrasion does: they remove the dead skin cells on the top layer of the skin, counter hyperpigmentation and promote an even, glowing skin tone. If your skin is healthy enough for a chemical peel of sufficient depth, it’s an easy, consistent way to combat your hyperpigmentation from the sun.
Get Rid of Sunspots with Specialized Skin Products
If you haven’t had much luck with over-the-counter treatments, that doesn’t mean that they’ll never work for you: it just means that you haven’t found the right product. At Beleza, our aesthetician can provide you access to advanced, specialized skin products that might be powerful enough to get rid of your spots – and cheaper than coming in for a full treatment. We have a variety of products that can help to treat skin discolored by the sun.
All of these options have their pros and cons, but it’s hard to say which option is right for you without first having a consultation, however. If you’re interested in getting rid of your sunspots for good, call Beleza Plastic Surgery today to schedule your consultation.