At The Skin Company, we see a lot of sunspots. Sunspots are those pesky brown spots that seem to pop up on our skin with no warning. They can be treated easily and effectively at home and in the office, but if you’re unsure how to go about it, don’t worry! We’re here to help. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what sunspots are, the best treatments for sunspots, and how to prevent them from coming back.

What are sunspots?

Sunspots, also known as liver spots, are very common. Sunspots are a common occurrence for everyone, regardless of skin tone. They are minor, flat brown marks on the skin after sun exposure as UV radiation causes melanin-producing pigmented cells called melanocytes to multiply. Sunspots vary in shape and size and usually occur in the areas of your body that have had the most sun exposure, such as your face, shoulders, forearms, and backs of your hands.

Sunspots are safe and noncancerous, but you can treat them for cosmetic reasons.

What are the best treatments for sunspots?

The best treatments for sunspots are at-home skin care products and in-office skin treatments. At-home skin care products, such as lightening creams and exfoliating products, can help fade sunspots over time. In-office skin treatments, such as laser therapy and chemical peels, can provide more immediate results.

At-home products:

  • Hydroquinone. The most common skin-lightening ingredient is hydroquinone. Hydroquinone treats areas of dyschromia, including melasma, chloasma, sun spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. MARIA KANE Overnight Brightening Cream is a personalized hydroquinone and vitamin A treatment cream that can be compounded in the office for patients to use at home. A provider will prescribe a cocktail of ingredients to deliver a concentrated dose of hydroquinone and vitamin A to treat your skin concerns.
  • Illuminating Renewal Pads. MARIA KANE Illuminating Renewal Pads deliver kojic acid, salicylic acid, and arbutin to the skin to brighten pigment. Kojic acid lightens deep pigment, and arbutin inhibits the production of new dark spots. Salicylic acid unclogs pores, exfoliates the skin, and enhances the penetration and effectiveness of other ingredients. Together, they combat hyperpigmentation and melasma and erase the most stubborn sunspots.
  • Resurfacing Retinol Drops. Retinol encourages cellular turnover and helps fade sunspots. In addition to fading pigmentation, the powerful, multi-tasking ingredient, retinol, also helps to increase collagen production and decrease fine lines and wrinkles, so it’s a good one to have in your routine whether you have sunspots or not.
  • Even Tone Correcting Serum. Skinbetter’s Even Tone Correcting Serum uses patented b.r.y.t. technology to bright brown, red, and yellow pigment in the skin and improve overall tone. Even Tone is a non-hydroquinone treatment, so you can use it daily, morning and night, to lighten sun spots. In addition, you can use it while you use a hydroquinone product for additional brightening benefits.

In-office treatments:

  • Intense pulse light (IPL). IPL uses pulses of light energy to target sunspots on the skin. It works by targeting, heating, and destroying the melanin, which removes the discolored spots. An IPL session usually takes less than 30 minutes, and the number of sessions needed varies from person to person.
  • Laser resurfacing. During laser resurfacing, the laser directs an intense beam of light energy at your skin. The laser beam destroys the outer layer of the skin. At the same time, the laser heats the underlying skin. Heating the skin stimulates collagen production over time, resulting in better skin tone and texture. As a result, the new skin that grows in place of the destroyed skin is brighter and more supple. Laser resurfacing on the face can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the size of the area you are treating. Healing typically takes anywhere from 10 to 21 days.
  • Chemical peels. A chemical peel procedure involves applying an acid solution to the skin, which creates a controlled wound that eventually peels off, making way for new skin. Chemical peels can cause a burning sensation that lasts a few minutes, but the feeling is temporary and subsides when your provider removes the solution. The treatment is quick in the office, usually taking 10-30 minutes.

How do you prevent sunspots?

Sunspots occur from consistent sun exposure, so the key to preventing sunspots is limiting your exposure to UVA and UVB rays. Wear sunscreen daily, even on cloudy days, of at least 30 SPF or higher, and reapply every 2 hours. You can also wear a hat and cover your shoulders when you are outside for extended periods. Lastly, you can incorporate the at-home products mentioned with brightening agents and vitamin A to keep your skin exfoliated and bright, treating any sunspots forming before they get darker.

Schedule a complimentary skin care consultation at The Skin Company to determine your best in-office and at-home treatment.