Sun spots are common skin blemishes. These typically flat patches are dark in color and mostly found on areas of the body with high levels of sun exposure. This includes the face, back, shoulders, arms, feet, chest, and hands.
It’s important to note that sun spots are harmless, but that doesn’t make them any less annoying. Because of their dark pigment, sun spots are usually very noticeable, which can make you feel insecure. If you have sun spots, you’ve probably tried your fair share of treatments to no avail. The truth is, it can be difficult to get rid of sun spots, but it’s not impossible.
In this article, we share a few tips to help you say sayonara to sun spots once and for all. From using a topical treatment to getting chemical peels, here’s everything you should know:
1. Try a Prescription Topical
There are several over-the-counter products advertising their ability to reduce sun spots. But the truth is, these products aren’t as strong as one a doctor would prescribe. Prescription topicals contain high-quality ingredients specifically designed to address skin concerns. If you’re suffering from sun spots, using a prescription topical can make all the difference.
A popular option is tretinoin, a prescription-strength topical used to treat discoloration and reduce the signs of aging. Available as a cream, tretinoin is a retinoid that increases the production of collagen and speeds up the skin’s cell turnover rate.
Retinol, which is a type of retinoid, is a natural form of vitamin A. While tretinoin is considered stronger than retinol, it offers the same anti-aging benefits. Applying tretinoin can do more than get rid of sun spots — it can keep your skin healthy and youthful-looking.
2. Reduce Sun Exposure
There’s a common misconception that sun spots are like any other type of hyperpigmentation. This isn’t necessarily true. Sun spots are collections of melanocytes, cells that exist on the basal layer of the skin. When exposed to the sun, melanocytes grow bigger and bigger, clumping together to eventually create a sun spot. Because of this, one of the best ways to eliminate sun spots is by reducing your exposure to the sun.
Luckily, there are several ways to reduce sun exposure. For one, make sure you apply sunscreen while you’re outside. Sunscreen acts as a shield and protects your skin from the sun’s harsh rays. As a rule of thumb, wear sunscreen every single day — even when it’s cloudy outside. You should also consider wearing sun-protective clothing, like a wide-brimmed hat, lightweight pants, and a long sleeve shirt.
Prevention is important when it comes to sun spots. Protecting yourself from the sun can keep you from forming sun spots, to begin with. If you already have sun spots, protecting yourself from the sun helps to keep them from growing.
3. Use Vitamin C
Vitamin C has long been considered a must-have skincare ingredient. It can help slow down signs of skin aging, improve the appearance of wrinkles, treat acne and dark spots, and reverse the effects of sun damage.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it protects skin cells against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body is exposed to radiation from the sun. It’s common to come into contact with free radicals, but they can do serious damage.
In addition to skin issues, free radicals can lead to a host of other chronic health problems, such as inflammatory disease, heart disease, and even cancer. Integrating antioxidants, topically and through food, can help you stay healthy from the inside out. There are a variety of foods high in vitamin C, but some of the most popular include broccoli, kale, and citrus fruits.
Keep in mind, depending on the severity of your sun spots, you’ll want to use vitamin C in conjunction with other treatments.
4. Chemical Peels
If you haven’t already, you might consider getting a chemical peel. Chemical peels are an effective way to fade dark spots. Chemical exfoliation removes the top layer of skin, helping to get rid of dead and damaged cells. This, in turn, speeds up the skin’s cell turnover process, replacing dead skin cells with healthy ones.
Not only do chemical peels keep your skin healthy, but they improve the appearance of sun spots and other signs of skin damage. There are many different options for chemical peels, some harsher than others. Before getting a peel, make sure the person doing the treatment understands your skin. For instance, if you have sensitive skin and are prone to acne, you’ll want a gentler peel.
Chemical peels are considered safe, non-invasive treatments. However, it’s important you schedule an appointment with a licensed professional. Make sure you do research on the person by looking at their bio or license and make sure to read their reviews. You can never be too cautious when it comes to trusting someone with your skin.
While there are many different treatment options for sun spots, some may or may not work for you. It’s important you don’t let yourself get discouraged. If you don’t see results from using a certain product, try another approach. But keep in mind your skin won’t clear overnight. It can take months to achieve results, so make sure you stay patient.