Sunspots – also called age spots, liver spots, or solar lentigines- are small flat discolorations that appear on any part of your body, especially the parts that are more exposed to the sun. They are harmless, but they reduce our esthetics. On the brighter side, there are effective, minimally invasive procedures that can be performed to remove sunspots and restore appealing looks.
Causes of Sunspots
Just as the name suggests, sunspots are a result of prolonged exposure to the sun or tanning beds (UVA and UVB light). When exposed to the UV radiation, overactive pigment cells are triggered to produce melanin in high concentrations. With time, the melanin becomes clumped up, forming dark/brown spots on the exposed parts of the skin.
Note that spots on your skin can also form as a result of underlying conditions, such as melanoma, a serious type of skin cancer. See a cosmetologist immediately if you have a spot that:
- Is quickly increasing in size
- Has a weird combination of colours
- Has a crooked border
- Is itchy, red, or bleeding
- Has very dark pigmentation
Certain factors increase the likelihood of developing sunspots. These include:
- Genetic predisposition to freckles
- Light skin and red hair
- Frequent and intense sun exposure or tanning
- Age (persons of 40yrs and above are more prone)