Diagnosis

  • Visual inspection: The doctor usually diagnoses sunspots by directly looking at the skin of the patient.
  • Skin biopsy: Skin biopsy is used to distinguish sunspots from other conditions; for example, lentigo maligna which is a type of skin cancer. During this, a small sample of skin is taken for microscopic analysis.

Sunspots

The flat brown spots or tan spots formed on the skin by excessive sun exposure or UV damage are known as sunspots. Ultraviolet rays from the sun stimulate the multiplication of melanocytes in an uncontrolled manner, resulting in their formation. These spots are harmless and non-cancerous but can affect the overall facial appearance. These spots are most visible in the areas of the body most exposed to the sunlight like face, neck, shoulders, chest, and backs of the hands. Medically this skin condition is also known as "liver spots" or "solar lentigines", though the liver is not responsible for this. They are not risky for health, and many people look for the treatment for cosmetic reasons.

The sunspots can be reduced with expert help, proper sun protection, and some advanced treatments. People get sunspots around the age of 35, and fair or lighter skin people get them earlier or later in life, and this depends on the sun exposures or some time on their genetic inheritance also. If someone is suffering from sunspots and age spots, the Q-switched laser is one of the best techniques to remove them. Laser treatment can remove sunspots and help to get beautiful spotless skin again. In this technology, unwanted sunspots and brown spots are targeted. This technology delivers laser energy that slowly reduces sunspots with the help of the natural healing process of the body.

Sun exposure (UVA and UVB light)

The melanin pigment is present in the skin which captures sunlight and defends the skin from UV rays damage. However, when skin gets overexposed to the sun rays, it increases the formation of melanin. This high amount of melanin develops slowly and causes dark spots on the skin.

Age: As with increasing age, the strength of the skin to defend against UV rays decreases, so the chances of getting sun spots increase.

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Laser toning treatment for sunspots

Laser toning is used for the removal of unwanted sunspots, age spots, and brown spots from the skin. This treatment is not appropriate for pregnant women and patients who have herpes or cold sores. During this treatment, the dark pigments causing sunspots are targeted and are broken down through the laser energy pulse that travels in billions of seconds. The dark pigments are naturally reabsorbed and removed off from the body's immune system. The energy released during laser treatment feels like various small hot dots on the skin. A stream of cold air is directed on the sunspots to minimize discomfort.


Dr. Rohit Batra, an MD (Dermatology,
Venereology & Leprology), is an adult,
pediatric and cosmetic dermatologist
& dermato-surgeon based at New Delhi.


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