Sun spots, also known as liver spots or age spots, are the result of long-term exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. These flat, brownish patches appear on areas of the body most often exposed to the sun – especially the face, hands, and arms. Though sun spots are benign, they are unsightly and are often accompanied by other types of sun damage such as rough skin and wrinkles. In some cases, sun spots obscure the presence of skin cancer.
There are a wide variety of cosmetic dermatology treatments available for sun damage. Neurotoxins such as BOTOX?Cosmetic are an effective injection treatment for wrinkles. They immobilize the muscles responsible for the formation of wrinkles, softening their appearance.
Chemical peels and abrasive procedures are another option for sun damage treatment. A chemical peel strips away dead skin cells and damaged outer layers of the skin, stimulating the growth of healthy new skin. Microdermabrasion, a procedure that exfoliates the outer layers of the skin with a spray of fine crystals, can also be used to stimulate new skin growth. Both these techniques are excellent for removing or reducing the appearance of minor scars and blemishes as well as signs of sun damage.
There are also a variety of laser and light techniques available to treat sun-damaged skin. With Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy, the skin is treated with flashes of light from a high-energy, full-spectrum xenon lamp. This technique is particularly effective for treating pigmentation problems and capillary damage. Laser skin resurfacing uses a single wavelength laser beam to dissolve molecular bonds in the skin and vaporize the outer skin layers. Once the skin heals, it appears tighter and smoother. Lasers are also used to remove sun spots.