Preventing Blemishes From the Summer Sun
Sun spots, also called solar lentigines, are flat, brown patches on the skin that occur when sun exposure causes pigment cells to cluster. While sun spots are not typically harmful, they can be unsightly.
To protect your skin's health and keep you looking youthful and radiant all summer long, use these prevention tips:
Are Sun Spots Cancerous?
Most sun spots are not cancerous. However, some types of sun spots can increase your risk of skin cancer. If you have sun spots, it's essential to protect your skin from further sun damage and see a dermatologist for regular check-ups.
There are three main types of sun spots that can be cancerous:
Actinic keratoses are the most common sun spots and usually appear as small, scaly patches on the skin. They are most often found on the face, chest, hands, and arms. While they are not cancerous, they can develop into squamous cell carcinomas if left untreated.
Basal Cell Carcinomas
Basal cell carcinomas are the most common type of skin cancer and usually appear as small, raised bumps on the skin. They are most often found on the face, neck, chest, and back. While they are not usually life-threatening, they can spread to other body parts if left untreated.
Squamous Cell Carcinomas
Squamous cell carcinomas are the second most common type of skin cancer and usually appear as firm, red bumps on the skin. They are most often found on the face, neck, chest, and back. While they are not usually life-threatening, they can spread to other body parts if left untreated.
Sun Spot Prevention
There are several ways to prevent sun spots and keep your skin looking healthy and youthful. The best way is to follow these tips:
- Wear sunscreen: Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply it generously and reapply every two hours, or more often if you're sweating or swimming.
- Seek shade: Stay in the shade as much as possible, especially between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun's rays are the strongest.
- Cover up: Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a wide-brimmed hat when you're in the sun.
If you are concerned about sun spots, talk to your doctor or dermatologist. They can help you determine if sun spots are a cause for concern and recommend the best treatment option for you.
Sun Spot Treatment
Treatments for sunspots can be either cosmetic or medical. Several over-the-counter cosmetic treatments can help sunspots appear lighter. These include:
- Hydroquinone: This is a skin bleaching agent that can lighten sunspots. It is available in both cream and gel form.
- Retinoids: These are vitamin A derivatives that can improve the turnover of skin cells, making sunspots less visible. Retinoids are available as creams, gels, and even serums.
- Alpha hydroxy acids: These chemicals help exfoliate the skin, making sunspots less visible. Glycolic acid and lactic acid are two typical alpha hydroxy acids.
If over-the-counter treatments aren't enough, some medical treatments can help. These include:
- Prescription retinoids: Stronger than their over-the-counter counterparts, prescription retinoids can effectively treat sunspots.
- Cryotherapy: This involves freezing sunspots with liquid nitrogen. It can be uncomfortable and may cause temporary redness and swelling.
- Laser therapy: Several types of laser therapy can be used to treat sunspots. These include pulsed dye lasers, Q-switched lasers, and carbon dioxide lasers.
Restoring Your Skin's Youthful Glow
Summer is a short season — and now is the time to start looking your best! Whatever your skin concerns are, Colorado Medispa can provide the expert, safe care you need for natural-looking, beautiful results.
Our medispa is run by experienced, highly trained aestheticians and laser technicians. Contact us at (303) 502-9454 or visit us online today to book a free consultation.