Seeing spots. Not the spots that float across the field of vision, but spots on the skin. And we know what to do about them. Called liver spots, age spots, and sun spots, small areas of discoloration often occur on skin that has been exposed to the sun for many years. The spots, caused by an increase in melanin production (to protect the skin from damage) in response to UV exposure, often don’t appear until sometime around mid-life. That’s why people call them age spots. Really, it all boils down to sun damage. Here, we discuss some of the ways that dark spots on the hands, arms, chest, neck, face, and other areas can be corrected.
First Things, First
Anytime the skin changes as a result of ultraviolet light, there is a chance that some cells may start to grow abnormally. Sun exposure is the leading cause of squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Before commencing with treatment for dark spots, it is important to have a doctor perform a thorough skin cancer screening. We are happy to do so here in our Austin facility. Once the skin has been assessed and spots have been confirmed as cosmetic only, we can explore the various ways to treat them.
Suggestions to Address Sun Spots
- Look to lasers. Laser skin treatments are used for a variety of concerns. Each device has specific technology and wavelengths of light that target particular substances. For example, some wavelengths target melanin, the very substance that is at the heart of dark spots. Laser treatment can break down the buildup of melanin, allowing the body to then eliminate the excess. After a consultation, our providers can recommend the best laser for your skin type and desired outcome.
- Exfoliate! Our skin isn’t always so good at sloughing off dead and damaged cells. These cells often stick around, dulling our complexion and blocking our skin care products. Exfoliation is vital for cellular renewal. While this treatment, which can be performed as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and other techniques, typically cannot eliminate dark spots on its own, it can be done after spots have been cleared via other means.
- Use a dark spot corrector. Also not a means to an end on its own, a medical-grade dark spot corrector can be an excellent complement to other therapies. Dr. Walden has developed a powerful Dark Spot Formula that lightens and hydrates simultaneously.
In addition to professional treatments that can fade dark spots, it goes without saying that future spots can be prevented by wearing SPF 30 sunscreen daily. See how we can help you get rid of troublesome dark spots on your skin. Contact our Austin office at 512.328.4100.