When you look in the mirror, do you see small, dark spots on your face? These are called sunspots, and they can be frustrating for many women over 50.
Sunspots, also called solar lentigos, liver spots, or age spots, are small, round, flat marks that can appear on your skin after long exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Most of the time, they are tan or light brown, and they can be as big as a fingertip.
Sometimes these spots show up out of nowhere. One day your skin is clear and glowing, and the next you find a dark spot where there was none before. These spots are often found on areas exposed to the sun, like your face, hands, and arms. The good news is that sunspots are not cancerous, but they can be cosmetically bothersome.
It’s believed that sunspots are more common in women after age 40. They are not usually harmful, but they can hurt your confidence and self-esteem.
If you are worried about how these spots look or if they might turn into skin cancer, there are ways to treat them and keep them from getting worse.
Today, I’ll be sharing some of my tips to get rid of sunspots on your face when you are 50 and beyond. But first, let’s discuss the causes of sunspots.
What Causes Sunspots?
Long-term exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is what primarily causes sunspots. The more time you spend in the sun without adequate protection, the more likely you are to develop these spots. This is because the sun’s UV rays cause your body to make more melanin, which is the pigment that gives your skin its color.
When you spend a lot of time in the sun, your skin protects itself by making more melanin. Over time, this extra melanin can stick together and cause sunspots to form. It is important to know that sunspots can happen to anyone, no matter what skin type or color they have.
But women with lighter skin and women over 40 are more likely to get them because the skin’s ability to heal from sun damage gets worse with age.
Sunspots can also be caused by a variety of other things. For example, tanning beds can greatly increase your risk because they send out a lot of UV rays. Furthermore, some medications can make your face or skin more sensitive to the sun, which can make you more likely to get sunspots.
Sunspots are harmless but can ruin your appearance. Sunspots on the face, one of our most exposed areas, can be distressing. These spots can cause uneven skin tone and texture, which many find unattractive.
These spots can also indicate sun damage to your skin. This increases your risk of skin cancer and other serious skin conditions. They are not cancerous, but they should alert you to increase your sun protection.
If you keep your skin exposed to the sun, these spots can last a long time. They can be hard to remove, causing frustration and low self-esteem. However, there are many ways that have been shown to work to get rid of sunspots.
Ways to Get Rid of Sunspots
There are a lot of different ways to get rid of sunspots or make them less obvious. Don’t forget to talk to your dermatologist about which of these treatments is best for you.
The first thing you should do to get rid of sunspots is to spend less time in the sun. This might mean changing some of your daily habits, like staying out of the sun during peak hours and always putting on sunscreen, even on cloudy days.
Keep in mind that UV rays can go through clouds and windows, so you are not safe just because it is not sunny or you are inside.
Topical treatments can help get rid of sunspots. Look for creams and serums with retinoids, vitamin C, and hydroquinone as ingredients.
Retinoids can speed up the rate at which cells die and grow back, making it easier to get rid of the skin cells that make your skin look darker.
Vitamin C reduces melanin production, brightens skin, and fades sunspots. Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening drug that can effectively bleach sunspots.
But it is important not to self-medicate. Your doctor can tell you what kind of retinoid is best for your skin.
For example, tretinoin, which is made from vitamin A, can be used regularly to even out the color of your skin and get rid of sunspots.
Chemical peels are a cosmetic treatment for skin improvement. They can be especially helpful for sunspots and other skin problems like wrinkles and uneven skin tone.
Chemical peels involve putting a solution on your skin that makes the top layers peel off, revealing smoother, less damaged skin underneath.
There are three different kinds of chemical peels: superficial, medium, and deep.
Superficial peels use mild acids to lightly exfoliate the skin and are good for light sunspots. Medium peels use acids that are stronger to treat sunspots and other skin problems that are easy to see. Deep peels, on the other hand, use very strong acids to treat severe sunspots and other serious skin problems.
Before you get a chemical peel, you should talk to a dermatologist about the pros and cons. People with very sensitive skin or certain health problems are not good candidates for a peel. The dermatologist can give you advice that is specific to your skin health and worries.
A dermatologist will tell you which type to use based on the type of your skin, how bad your sunspots are, and what you want to accomplish. Chemical peels should only be done by professionals, because if they are done wrong, they can hurt the skin.
After a peel, your skin will likely be sensitive. You may get redness, peeling, and changes in color. It is very important to keep your skin safe from the sun and do what the care instructions say.
Laser therapy, which is sometimes called laser resurfacing, is a way to get rid of sunspots. It uses light energy to target the pigment in sunspots. This breaks down the pigment, which makes the sunspot fade over time.
There are two types of lasers: ablative lasers and non-ablative lasers. Ablative lasers take off the top layer of skin and heat the layer below it, which makes new collagen grow. This makes the skin smoother and lessens the amount of spots.
Non-ablative lasers heat the skin below the surface without removing the top layer. This stimulates collagen production and makes the skin look younger over time.
After treatment, it is important to keep your skin out of the sun and do what your dermatologist tells you to do. You might get redness, swelling, and sensitivity as a side effect.
Before you decide on laser therapy, talk to a dermatologist about the pros and cons based on your skin type and condition.
Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive way to improve the tone and texture of the skin as a whole. It can also be used to treat sunspots.
With microdermabrasion, the top layer of skin is taken off with tiny crystals that scrub the skin. This treatment helps new, healthy skin cells and collagen grow, which can make sunspots look less noticeable.
In general, the process is safe for all types and colors of skin. It is not as harsh as dermabrasion, so you do not need numbing medicine and you do not need much time to heal.
Your skin may be red and feel like it has been sunburned after treatment, but this should go away in a day. Over the next few days, your skin should start to look and feel smoother, and the sunspots should become less obvious.
Like after any other skin treatment, it is important to stay out of the sun after microdermabrasion. Use a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF that covers a wide range of wavelengths.
Always consult a dermatologist or skin care professional before starting any new skin treatment to make sure it is right for your skin type, condition, and health.
READ MORE: Anti-ageing Skincare Routine For Mature Skin
Photofacials, also known as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy, use high-intensity pulses of visible light to improve skin, including sunspots.
Sunspots absorb light energy during a photofacial. This energy is converted into heat, which breaks down pigment and reduces sunspot visibility.
Photofacials promote healthy skin cell growth by targeting multiple skin layers without damaging them. Though uncomfortable, the treatment does not require anesthesia.
Your face or skin may look like a mild sunburn after the procedure. It usually goes away in a few hours or days. After treatment, your facial skin is more sensitive to UV radiation, so protect it.
Photofacials can significantly reduce sunspots after several treatments. However, the number of treatments needed depends on sunspot severity.
Photofacials, like other skincare treatments, should be discussed with a dermatologist. They can assess your skin to determine if this treatment is right for you and what results to expect.
Sunspot removal using cryotherapy (cryosurgery) is common and effective.
Cryotherapy involves a dermatologist applying liquid nitrogen to sunspots. This extreme cold freezes and destroys sunspot skin cells, causing them to flake off and reveal healthier skin.
The procedure is usually quick and can be done in one office visit. During treatment, most people feel a slight stinging sensation, but it is usually well-tolerated. Redness, swelling, and blisters may occur after treatment.
After one to two weeks, new, healthier face or skin will appear. Protecting this new skin from the sun prevents sunspots.
Cryotherapy is safe, but it should be done by a professional to avoid blistering, scarring, and skin color changes. Before trying cryotherapy, consult a dermatologist to make sure it is right for your skin.
Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Sunspots
Sunspots can be removed naturally with several home remedies. Citric acid in lemon juice lightens dark spots. Apply fresh lemon juice to sunspots for 15 minutes, then rinse.
Another common remedy is apple cider vinegar. It lightens sunspots and evens skin tone with acetic acid. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, apply to sunspots, and rinse after 20 minutes.
Aloe vera has healing properties and can fade sunspots. Apply pure aloe vera gel to sunspots and let it absorb. For best results, repeat daily. Even though these remedies are natural, it is best to do a patch test on your skin or face.
The facial skin is very sensitive and requires careful consideration when applying any treatment, whether it’s natural or not. Thus, I’d suggest you try to do a patch test on a small area of your skin, such as your wrist, before applying it to your face. This will help you detect any potential sensitivities or allergic reactions.
Sunspots: Aftercare and Skin Protection
Without sun protection, age spots can return after treatment. Staying in the shade and wearing sun-protective clothing can prevent this. This includes lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, pants, wide-brimmed hats, and UV-protected sunglasses. Clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) label offers additional protection.
Apply sunscreen to your face and exposed skin. Before going outside, apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sunspots
Q. Can sunspots turn into skin cancer?
A. Even though sunspots are not cancerous, having them can mean that your skin has been damaged by the sun a lot, which can make you more likely to get skin cancer. If your sunspots change in any way, like getting bigger, getting wavy edges, or changing color, it is important to see a dermatologist.
Q. Can sunspots go away on their own?
A. Sunspots can fade with time, especially if you limit your exposure to the sun. They can, however, be stubborn and may not go away completely without treatment.
Q. How long does it take to get rid of sunspots?
The time it takes to remove sunspots varies depending on the treatment method used as well as the size and depth of the sunspots. Topical treatments can take weeks to months to produce results, whereas professional treatments may produce faster results.
Sunspots can make your skin look bad, but there are many ways to get rid of them, from home remedies and over-the-counter products to professional treatments.
The key is to find the method that works best for you and be consistent with it. But preventing sunspots from happening in the first place is the most important thing.
Wear sunscreen all the time, stay out of the sun as little as possible, and take care of your skin.
Remember that your skin shows how healthy you are as a whole, so take care of it.
♡ Love ♡,