Whether you were a tanning bed user in the past or spent years slacking on sunscreen application, you may be affected by sun-damaged skin. According to Dr. Abigail Donnelly, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology, “sun damage spots on the skin are flat brown spots directly caused by sun exposure.” Any UV rays from the sun can darken existing sunspots, including the harmful radiation that comes through windows or passes through cloud cover. Dr. Donnelly added, “most everyone will eventually develop sunspots, or lentigines, on their skin. Individuals with fair skin or extensive sun exposure are more prone to developing them earlier in life.”
Sunspots commonly appear on the face, neck, or chest and on the back of your hands – the areas that get the most lifetime sun exposure. While sunspots are usually harmless, they can be an unwanted cosmetic appearance. Luckily, cosmetic treatments are available to help minimize or eliminate sunspots over time. The best results occur when you combine one of the following procedures with a comprehensive skincare routine.
Microdermabrasion involves a controlled skin exfoliation that removes the build-up of dead skin cells, like removing dust build-up in your house. Microdermabrasion is commonly performed using salt crystals, aluminum sand, or a diamond surfaced wand. There is no downtime or recovery period associated with microdermabrasion. The best results are obtained with regular treatments ideally done at four to eight-week intervals, combined with a proper skincare routine.
A chemical peel helps remove dull surface cells, improve fine lines, and reduce sunspots and discoloration. The result is increased collagen production and smoother, more radiant skin. Multiple types of chemical peels range from surface-level peels to deeper peels. It is recommended to first consult with your provider to determine which peel is right for you.
Broad Band Light
Broad Band Light (BBL) is a non-invasive, no downtime treatment for sunspots and age spots. According to Dr. Donnelly, “BBL treatments are typically 30 minutes or less and use intense pulses of filtered light to target unwanted pigment in the skin. We select the spectrum of light that will best target the abnormal pigment and leave healthy skin unharmed. The light is absorbed by the abnormal pigment and breaks it up, where it can then be absorbed by the body or expelled from the surface in the form of tiny crusts.
The associated heat stimulates skin tightening and collagen development. The process will restore your skin to its natural beauty, making it clearer, smoother, vibrant, and younger-looking.” Depending on the severity and amount of sunspots, BBL should be performed in a series of three to six treatments, resulting in 80 to 95 percent elimination of your sunspots.
If you have sunspots you are interested in removing, find a Forefront Dermatology office near you and schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified dermatologists.