Sun spots, also known as “solar lentigines,” present as tan to brown spots on sun exposed areas such as the face, neck, chest, upper back and arms. Solar lentigines are caused by an increase in the production of pigment (melanin) and melanocytes (pigment producing cells) as a response to UV radiation. Unlike moles where the melanocytes are clustered together, melanocytes in lentigines are evenly dispersed along the epidermis. Lentigines are benign but can be a reflection of sun damage. Patients with solar lentigines should take preventive measures to protect their skin from further UV exposure. Treatment consists of aggressive sun protection along with other options:
- Hydroquinone cream: Bleaching cream which helps reduce the production of pigment (melanin) by melanocytes.
- Tretinoin cream: Increases the turnover of cells and helps resurface the skin. Tretinoin often works best when combined with a bleaching product such as hydroquinone.
- Sunscreen: Protection from the sun and liberal use of sunscreens is equally important in the treatment of solar lentigines as prescription medications. Despite proper treatment, lentigines can return with exposure to sun light and UV radiation.
- Azelaic acid: Has also been shown to decrease the activity of melanocytes, although less effective than hydroquinone.
In office treatment options for sun spots include:
SkinCeuticals Gel Peel, Jessner’s, Mesoestetic Cosmelan Pack
- Customized for your skin type to target hyperpigmentation, uneven texture, loss of elasticity, lines and wrinkles
GLOBAL SKIN REJUVENATION
- ND-Yag lasering technology gently and effectively targets a variety of skin concerns, giving the skin a luminous glow with no downtime
IPL (INTENSE PULSED LIGHT)
- Light-based therapy that rejuvenates while improving the overall appearance of the skin for a clear, radiant, even-toned complexion
- Repairs the look of photoaging freckling, age spots, blotchiness, irregular pigmentation and broken capillaries
- Improves redness, sensitivity and flushing of the face, neck, and/or chest.
- FDA-approved treatment for pre-cancerous skin lesions, including actinic keratosis and early skin cancers including superficial basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas
- Evens out skin texture and minimizes imperfections. Normalizes sun damaged, acne and rosacea-prone skin
RESURFACING LASER TREATMENTS
Clear & Brilliant Non-Ablative Resurfacing, Fraxel DUAL Non-Ablative Resurfacing, Coolpeel CO2 Resurfacing, Lumenis UltraPulse CO2 Ablative Resurfacing
- Stimulates new collagen synthesis for a radiantly smooth complexion
- Promotes skin repair and regeneration
- Minimizes the appearance of pores, discolorations, fine lines and wrinkles
- Reduces pore congestion to eliminate acne and prevent it from forming
Unlike melasma, solar lentigines are not influenced by hormonal fluctuations. Lesions that are changing or growing should be evaluated by a dermatologist to rule out potentially concerning growths. A biopsy may be performed on atypical lesions to rule out lentigo maligna melanoma, a type of melanoma that results from excessive sun damage.