Years of sun exposure can cause the appearance of sunspots. Sunspots are flat brown spots that usually appear on the face, arms, shoulders, and hands.
Can Sunspots Go Away?
Sunspots won’t go away on their own. They occur due to years of sun exposure that cause melanocytes, or pigmented skin cells, to multiply. There are many over-the-counter skin lightening remedies that are effective in fading sunspots. These include:
- Topical creams and lotions that contain glycolic acid
- Topical Vitamin A and C that contain skin lightening acids
- Aloe Vera extract that contains aloin and aloesin, two known skin lightening compounds
- Products that contain lactic acid
How Do Dermatologists Remove Sunspots?
In addition to creams and lotions to medically fade sunspots, your dermatologist can perform one or more of the following procedures:
Cryotherapy: During this quick procedure, your dermatologist injects a liquid nitrogen solution into the sunspot, which destroys the cells. The spot will form and scab and leave unblemished skin in its place as it heals.
Microdermabrasion: If you have many sunspots on your face, this procedure may be the way to go. Your dermatologist uses an applicator with an abrasive tip to gently remove the outer layer of skin. Suction is then used to collect the dead skin cells. This helps remove sunspots and uncover fresh, unblemished skin.
Laser techniques: There are several different laser therapies, including intense pulsed light and laser resurfacing, which employ the use of lasers to destroy pigment-filled skin cells.
Can Sunspots Turn into Cancer?
Your dermatologist can tell by looking at your sun spots if further testing needs to be done. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment if you are concerned about any sunspot, mole, or other skin growth anywhere on your body.
Can Sunspots Be White?
This is called idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis (IGH). IGH appears on areas of the body that receive high amounts of sun exposure over the years and causes small spots to lose pigment. IGH is harmless just like brown sunspots. It usually affects women over 40 and usually appears on the legs and arms.
Do White Sunspots Go Away on Their Own?
Once the pigment is lost, it won’t return. Your dermatologist can reduce their appearance by using various laser therapies.
How Do You Know if a Sunspot is Cancerous?
Look for the following indicators that a sunspot or other skin growth is cancerous and make an appointment with your dermatologist right away:
- Unusually dark
- It’s growing
- Irregular border
- It itches, is painful, or is bleeding
- It turns a different color
How Will My Dermatologist Test for Skin Cancer?
If your dermatologist is suspicious that a sunspot could be cancerous, they will take a biopsy by removing a tiny section of the growth. A pathologist will evaluate the specimen to determine if it’s cancerous.
If you would like to remove your sunspots or have it checked out, contact Greater Miami Skin & Laser Center for more information. Our dermatologists will thoroughly examine your skin and recommend the best treatment options for your needs.