If you spend time in the sun, whether at work or play, you probably have noticed dark spots that have formed on the exposed skin. Even the use of moisturizers and sunscreens will not stop the appearance of what some people call liver spots. The technical term for these spots is solar lentigines or sun spots.The spots usually begin in the middle years at age 40 and then accelerate after age 50. Regardless of sex, male or female, unless you have completely avoided sun exposure in the younger years, you will most certainly see sun spots appear as you age.
When it’s cold and you’re bundled up the spots don’t stand out. Once warm weather arrives, your clothing is usually more revealing making the spots stand out and easy to see. Sun spots by themselves generally aren’t a cause for concern. However, f the spot begins to change color, like black, have your dermatologist check for a possible malignant melanoma.
One reason why women find sun spots so distressing is that the pigment is darker and penetrates deeper into the skin. This makes it a much harder condition to cover up. Some outward signs of aging are easy to cover up or to change; weight gain or grey hair. But just like a tattoo, sun spots can seem like a permanent alteration to the skin.
Many skin discolorations can be treated and sun spots are no different. You have a choice of over the counter skin bleaches or prescription-strength cremes. Prescription-strength medicines will usually be a more effective remedy for sun spots or you can try laser therapy. Women will generally gravitate toward laser therapy because the creme was either not effective or the treatment didn’t last and the spots reappeared.
Of course laser treatment will be the most expensive. One treatment, with a state of the art modern laser, using special attachments, can cost as much as $1000.00. The spots don’t just disapear after treatment, they turn dark and peel off. As with any technology, there can be side effects and laser treatment is no different. There can be discoloration around the spot or the skin can blister while the skin heals. Your dermatologist has other treatments such as peeling agents but lasers target the spot better and penetrate deeper into the skin layer making lasers a more permanent solution and with more precise control over the treatment area.