What are sunspots? Are they any different than freckles? Find out in these FAQs!
In this article:
- What are Sunspots?
- How Are Sunspots Different from Freckles?
- What Causes Sunspots?
- How Do You Treat Sunspots Naturally?
- What Are the Professional Treatments for Sunspots?
What Are Sunspots? | Definition and FAQs
What are Sunspots?
Sunspots are flat brown spots that occur on areas of the skin that are always exposed to the sun. They are harmless and are sometimes called liver spots. Sunspots today don’t pose any health risks and are non-cancerous, but they don’t typically fade away on their own. They also don’t require any therapies unless you want to remove them.
How Are Sunspots Different from Freckles?
The primary difference between sunspots and freckles is that they look larger than freckles and usually appear when you’re in your mid-thirties. Sunspots commonly appear because of repeated sun exposure. They are pigmented cells that clump together, forming dense areas of pigment.
Sunspots may fade a little if there’s a reduction of sun exposure, but they can be persistent and stubborn in comparison to freckles. You might need cosmetic therapies if you want to completely get rid of them faster.
One main difference between freckles and sunspots is that freckles are hereditary. So, whether you expose yourself too much to the sun or not, you’ll eventually have freckles if it runs in your blood. Unlike sunspots that result from too much sun exposure, freckles work as skin barriers against the sun.
Freckles are also natural areas of the skin that are less than 5 mm in diameter. They only happen when cells produce more of the pigment called melanin. Although they are not results of sun damage, the appearance of them suggests you have a sensitive skin type.
What Causes Sunspots?
Aside from repetitive sun exposure, sunspots also appear because of UV rays from tanning beds. UV rays from the sun and tanning beds increase melanin production which, in turn, creates pigmented patches on the skin. People with fair skin are more prone to sunspots than those with a darker skin tone. Those who have sun allergies and a severe sunburn may develop white sunspots instead.
How Do You Treat Sunspots Naturally?
Sunspots can occur to anybody who is exposed to UV rays, and there are some natural remedies available.
- Vitamin E
Dietary and topical vitamin E can help protect your skin from sun damage. It helps improve skin texture and lightens discoloration of the skin, such as sunspots.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C aids in protecting your skin from UVA and UVB rays. It lessens the number of sunburnt cells that cause discoloration in the skin. Like vitamin E, dietary and topical vitamin C effectively helps in eliminating sunspots.
- Licorice Extract
Licorice extract is one of the ingredients in commercially available creams for sunspots. The extract helps lighten skin discoloration caused by sun damage.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid that aids in lightening sunspots. Applying this regularly reduces discoloration of the skin.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has active compounds that help lessen signs of hyperpigmentation — aloin and aloesin. Both have anti-pigmentation abilities that can get rid of sunspots.
What Are the Professional Treatments for Sunspots?
If you want to remove sunspots for cosmetic reasons, you can also try professional treatments.
This procedure uses tiny needles to prick the skin which promotes collagen production. Collagen is an abundant protein in your body that provides many skin benefits, including lightening your skin color.
Cryotherapy is a quick procedure that is effective in getting rid of sunspots. It uses a liquid nitrogen solution to freeze sunspots off.
- Chemical Peels
Chemical peels use an acid solution to peel away old skin for new skin growth. The solution is applied to the areas of sunspots. Note that a chemical peel can cause a burning sensation that lasts for about 5 to 10 minutes. A cold compress may help alleviate this.
- Laser Resurfacing
This procedure uses a laser to remove sunspots on the skin. The beams of light target the spots until they are no longer visible, allowing new skin growth.
- Intense Pulse Light
This therapy uses light energy to heat and destroy melanin accumulation that causes sunspots. It may require multiple sessions before you achieve desired results.
Watch this video about the tips to get rid of sunspots naturally from Shelby Naturals:
Knowing the nature of sunspots and the reasons why they occur will help you better understand this skin condition. But, it’s still best to consult a medical expert if you want to get rid of them using professional treatments. Otherwise, you can go natural by applying natural remedies like Purple Tea.
Do you have sunspots? Which of the natural or professional treatments have you tried? Let us know in the comments section!