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What Are Sunspots

sun tan

What are sun spots and how to get rid of them

If you have  unwelcome patches on your skin, you may be asking, “What are sunspots?”.  Commonly known as age spots or sunspots, these discolorations can be hard to cover up and even harder to get rid of.  Dark spots on the skin are a very common complaint, especially among individuals over the age of 40.

What Causes Sunspots?

In simple terms, sunspots are exactly what their name implies – spots that are caused by the sun. Spending too much time in the sun without sunscreen or another form of protection can cause dark spots to develop on your skin as you age. That is why they are most commonly seen in places that are frequently exposed to the sun such as the face, chest, shoulders, arms and hands. They are often called age spots because they are most common in people who are 40 or older.

When the skin is exposed to sunlight, a pigment known as melanin causes the outer layer of the skin to tan. This darkening of the outer layer occurs to protect the inner layers from damage. In time, it is possible for the pigment to clump together, causing spots that do not fade away. Aging also causes increased melanin production in many people which is another reason why these spots are more common in older individuals. True sunspots are generally harmless, but they can be embarrassing.

Best Methods for Sunspot Removal

There are methods for getting rid of dark spots on the skin. It is possible to buy topical bleaching cream that will lighten the spots and make them less noticeable. Many people also opt to undergo laser treatments to remove sun spots. These procedures work by utilizing an intense beam of light that breaks up the clumps of melanin. In time, they are reabsorbed by the body and fade away.

Knowing the answer to the question, “What are sunspots?”, can make it easier for you to know how to prevent them. Since they are most often caused by exposure to the sun, the easiest way to prevent them is to avoid direct exposure to UV rays from the sun or tanning beds especially for long periods of time. Always wear sunscreen or protective clothing when you are out, and wear a wide brimmed hat to cover your face. Getting rid of sunspots can be difficult and costly, so, if possible, it is best to avoid getting them in the first place.

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