Sun Spots

Dark marks on the skin surface are commonly known as age spots, liver spots or sun spots. Scientifically speaking, sun spots are caused by being exposed to the sun and thus called as solar lentigo. These show color varying from brown, gray and black. The sizes differ from small ones, like that of a freckle, to large ones that are centimeter across. Usually, sun spots appear in a cluster, but they can also stand alone.

Parts of the body that have prolonged sun exposure show up sun spots. Hands, arms, face, and shoulders are the most common areas. The appearance of sun spots is common to people who are over 40 years old. However, the appearance may also show up in younger people depending on the amount and intensity of exposure to the sun in previous years.

In order to verify whether the mark is a sun spot or if it is a more serious skin condition, consulting a skin specialist is a must. Whenever there is an increase on the pigmentation in the skin, sun spots are likely to appear. A sun spot typically has a flat and oval look.

Being raised, multi-colored and irregularly shaped are warning signs that the spot should be checked by a dermatologist.  Keep in mind that having a harmful mark may be a trigger for a health risk like skin cancer so get it checked regularly by your skin specialist.

You can also use sunscreen in order to prevent sun spots. Sunscreens are able to create a barrier between your skin and the ultraviolet rays produced by the sun. The skin becomes tanned or more pigmented because of melanin production. The production of melanin is sped up whenever there is no protection against ultraviolet rays.

Genetics may also be a contributor to the production of sun spots.  Sun spots are more likely to appear on people who have freckles or fair skin as these skin types have less natural protection against the sun.

Aging in itself can also be the cause of appearance of sun spots in the skin. Aging causes the skin to produce more melanin that later on shows sun spots.

Sun spots can be removed in many ways. In spite of its being harmless to the body, sun spots are considered by many people to be removed because they are a sign of aging. Various treatments include cryotherapy, dermabrasion, laser removal, and chemical skin peels. However, proactive prevention like the utilization of broad-spectrum sunscreens is recommended by skin doctors over expensive treatments.