What are The Sun Spot Removal Treatment?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Where Do Sun Spots Come From?

Sun spots are the result of contact with UV rays. They can develop gradually over time as a result of repeated sun exposure. You might also hear the terms age spots, liver spots, and solar lentigines applied to these spots. They are most common in people over age 40, although you can develop them earlier.

Sun spots show up as flat, concentrated areas of brown pigment. The pigmented cells you have are called melanocytes, and they multiply when they are exposed to UV rays. In fact, sun exposure is the #1 cause of premature aging, and 80% of the skin’s visible signs of aging are caused by solar rays. The sun is probably responsible for any fine lines or wrinkles you currently have. While it’s not fair, the same beachy vacation that got you a tan when you were younger could result in spots when you are older.

Are Sun Spots Dangerous?

True sun spots are not cancerous or otherwise harmful to your health. However, when you have marks that appear to be sun spots, it is a good idea to visit a dermatologist to make sure they aren’t really something else. Your dermatologist can make sure your spots aren’t actually a sign of a condition that requires medical treatment.

4 Effective Sun Spot Removal Options

1. Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL)

Otherwise known as a photofacial, IPL uses laser technology to target pigmented cells. By working with a variety of different wavelengths, it focuses on the dark spots, causing the cells to heat up and be cleared by your body. Afterward, new cells come in to replace them.

We use Venus Versa lasers, which offer the most advanced system for treating sun spots, removing unwanted tattoos, and improving acne scars. They feature Radio Frequency, which will help you achieve an all-over glow and smoother skin.

2. Chemical Peels

The idea behind a chemical peel is to encourage your skin to shed its top layer of damaged cells, revealing newer, healthier skin underneath. The process stimulates your body’s production of collagen: the protein that helps give skin its structure and prevents fine lines and wrinkles. During a chemical peel, a gentle acid solution is applied to your face. Over the next few days, your damaged cells will fall off, giving your skin a fresh start. This treatment is available in several levels of intensity, so we will find the right approach for your individual condition.

The benefits of a chemical peel go far beyond sun spot removal. Following this treatment, you will notice a significant improvement in your fine lines and wrinkles. Your new skin will be firmer, healthier, and more vibrant. Along with the sun spots, other issues that contribute to an uneven texture will also be reduced. This includes any acne scars you have.

3. Microneedling

Microneedling is a treatment that stimulates your body’s natural healing response to improve all sorts of skin conditions, including sun spots. It uses a hand-held roller with fine needles to gently penetrate the skin at a safe depth. This stimulates your skin to produce collagen and repair areas that have been compromised by the UV rays and other factors.

Many people find microneedling to be the most effective skincare solution they ever tried. After this treatment, you will enjoy brighter skin and fewer signs of aging, including sun spots. It is also effective against acne scars, stretch marks, and other issues.

4. Microdermabrasion and Dermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a treatment that exfoliates your skin on a professional level. It uses a hand-held device that gently sprays your face with fine crystals to polish away the sun-damaged skin. Like a chemical peel, it removes the top dermal layer and gets rid of the cells that show evidence of aging. In the process, it encourages the production of newer, more youthful tissue. In some people, it can also cause the skin to produce more collagen.

Microdermabrasion is one of the gentlest skincare options. It is like a light version of dermabrasion and uses a similar process to resurface the skin on a deeper level. If you want to pursue a more intense way to get rid of your sun spots, dermabrasion is another option for you, but it is not safe for all skin types, and for many people, it’s not necessary. Microdermabrasion offers a balanced approach that is more effective than your at-home exfoliating products but easier on your skin than dermabrasion.

The Benefits of Sun Spot Removal

Clearer Skin

You can’t go back in time to undo your sunbathing sessions, but you can change the impact they have had on your skin. If you want to see clear, even skin when you look in the mirror, getting treated for your sun spots will help you achieve your aesthetic goals. Our treatments are done by medically licensed professionals who can give you beautiful skin with a gentle, caring approach.

Bonus Effects

Many of our treatments enhance the overall condition of your skin and promote the health of your cells. When your skin is healthy, it shows in multiple ways, including improved sun spots and a more even texture. You can look forward to a bright complexion, increased firmness, decreased fine lines, and even that special glow that everyone loves.

A Focus on Sun Protection

If you have been noticing your sun spots more and more, treating them will help you focus on practicing better care for your skin. When you choose a sun spot treatment, remember to also get your skin examined for cancer. Most skincare experts recommend that you have a check-up appointment with your dermatologist once a year. Your sun spots are your body’s way of telling you that it’s time to limit your UV exposure and practice good habits, such as wearing SPF every day.

Maintaining Your Results

Professional treatments can greatly reduce your sun spots, and there is a lot you can do to keep up the results you love. Like the treatments themselves, these measures have multiple benefits, including protecting you from cancer and promoting the best health for your skin. Here are a few things you can do:

Wear SPF Everyday

After your skin has been damaged by the sun, the cells are programmed to produce more dark pigment. That means that future exposure to UV rays will cause sun spots to pop up faster than they did before. You can reduce this risk and maintain the results of your treatment by wearing sunscreen every day. Special formulas are available for use on your face which will help you avoid breakouts. You can even buy SPF makeup, which is an easy way to work sun protection into your everyday routine. Whatever products you choose, remember to wear them even when it is overcast, because UV rays penetrate through the clouds.

Use Protective Clothing

When you go outside, cover up areas that are prone to getting a sunburn. Use hats with brims to cover your head. If you are wearing a sleeveless shirt or a dress, carry a light jacket that you can throw on when you know you’ll be in the sun for a long period of time. Sun protection isn’t just important: it’s fashionable.

In addition to your clothing, you should use an umbrella when you go to the beach. You will have a more comfortable day and will know your skin is being protected.

Follow-Up Treatments

Our professional treatments provide real, visible results that will last for several weeks. All of them can be repeated for an ongoing positive effect on your skin. Microdermabrasion, microneedling, and chemical peels are all safe to do every four to six weeks. IPL is usually scheduled as a series of appointments that are spaced between two and four weeks apart.

In the case of all of these treatments, scheduling several sessions will have cumulative benefits for your skin. You will see a progressive improvement after each appointment. Following the completion of your series, you will see optimal results that are long-lasting. We can make a plan for you to maintain your results with touch-ups later.

Which Treatment Should You Choose?

When you compare the different sun spot removal options, think about your skin and what results you want to see. IPL therapy is a very targeted approach that gets rid of sun spots in a way that is similar to laser tattoo removal. It uses focused beams of light that are attracted to the darker pigments in your skin. Chemical peels and microneedling are advanced solutions that can have a significantly positive impact on many aspects of your skin. They are used for conditions that are tough to treat, like wrinkles and acne scars.

If you want a milder approach, microdermabrasion is a good option. Rather than targeting sun spots specifically, it is a way to achieve generally beautiful skin all over. With this treatment, you can enjoy a healthy glow and a fresh feeling of rejuvenation. When done on a monthly basis, it can be part of a skincare routine that encourages healthy cell turnover and has a long term effect on the appearance of your sun spots.

Come in for a Consultation

Every person’s skin is different. The best way to understand which approach will provide the most effective sun spot removal for you is for us to meet you in person. We can examine your skin, show you our practice, and understand what you want to get out of your treatment. During our conversation, we will review all of the treatment options and answer any questions you might have. In many cases, we can begin treating you immediately after the consultation.

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