Sun Damage

What Are Sunspots?

Sunspots, which are also known as age spots or liver spots, are usually harmless. They may appear as a freckle-like, round spot that can have irregular borders. They are different from regular freckles as they can appear at any age. Sunspots are also slightly larger and can take on a grayish hue. Sizes can vary from that of a pea to that of a nickel. These spots tend to stick around longer than freckles, which can fade with the changing of the seasons. Sunspots are more common in those with fairer skin but can also be seen in people whose skin tans easily or even those with darker skin. Age spots are frequently seen in older adults, but don’t let this fool you. These spots develop and grow slowly and almost inconspicuously as your skin produces excess melanin, or pigment,, due to sun exposure.

Since sunspots occur mainly as a result of sun exposure, they usually appear on the face, hands, shoulders, and arms. The best way to minimize your risk of getting age spots is to avoid overexposure to the sun. While they are harmless, many people who end up getting sunspots seek treatment as they can give the skin an aged appearance. It’s also important to have sunspots looked at by a board certified dermatologist as some cancerous spots are similar in appearance to sunspots. If you notice one or more spots pop up, they should be reported to a dermatologist for proper evaluation.

Treatments for Sunspots

Topical bleaching agents, while mildly effective, often produce only temporary results. Our expert dermatologist utilizes several effective and long-lasting treatments to get rid of evidence of sun damage. The very minimally invasive IPL technology is designed to permanently eliminate your unwanted sunspots and freckles.

IPL

IPL technology improves the appearance of sun-damaged skin by removing sunspots, most benign brown pigments, and redness caused by broken capillaries through a process called photo rejuvenation for the face and body. This process is perfect for patients with active lifestyles because there is little downtime. It also has a very low risk of any side effects.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Skin-resurfacing lasers can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, in addition to sunspots and sun damage, by removing the top layer of skin to give way to fresh new skin. Laser skin resurfacing is now a very safe and common procedure that many people are choosing rather than more invasive surgical procedures. Because each patient is unique, the number of treatments required may vary from person to person, though most tend to see excellent results after 1-3 laser treatments.

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Seattle, Washington | Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle