While sun and age spots are often considered normal signs of aging, they can also indicate sun damage. These spots are usually harmless, but some people seek to remove them as they can make the skin appear flawed, uneven, and aged. 

If you are starting to notice signs of photoaging, the good news is that many effective age spots and sun damage treatments can help you reveal smoother, brighter, and more evenly completed skin.  

What Are Age Spots and Sun Spots?

Though age spots and sun spots are sometimes referred to as two separate conditions, they are technically the same thing. Both age and sun spots refer to the flat, brown spots or freckles that appear on the skin as a result of sun exposure. This is also known as photoaging or photodamage. 

These spots are not usually harmful themselves; however, if you have a lot of sun or age spots, it could be a sign that your skin is more damaged, which could increase your risk of developing skin cancer. 

The spots themselves are not cancerous and they can be removed cosmetically, but it’s worth consulting a professional to see if other areas of your skin might need to be checked for cancer just to be safe. 

What Causes Sun and Age Spots to Appear on the Skin?

The main cause of sun and age spots is sun exposure— more specifically, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light speeds up melanin production, which is the natural pigment that gives skin color. When the skin is exposed to UV light over a long period, spots will appear as a result of the melanin being produced in higher concentrations and clumping together. 

Two specific types of UV light will cause photoaging:

  • UVA light: UVA light can penetrate all levels of the skin and stimulate melanin production, which can protect the skin by absorbing ultraviolet radiation. 
  • UVB light: UVB light only penetrates the outermost layer of the skin. These are the rays that are most common for causing sunburns and most skin cancers. 

While anyone can experience photoaging, there are risk factors that can increase the risk of developing these spots. People with light skin, light hair, and light eyes tend to be more prone to sun and age spots. People who are prone to burning are also at higher risk. Anyone who spends a lot of time out in the sun and those who do not wear sunscreen are also more likely to develop photodamage. 

Are There Ways to Treat Sun Spots and Age Spots at Home?

While the safest and most effective treatments for photoaging are provided by professionals, there are products available that you can use to help lighten your sun spots at home. This can include:

  • Retinoids or retinol
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Aloe
  • Exfoliators
  • Glycolic acids
  • Hydroxy acids

These products or products with these ingredients have shown in some cases to lighten sun and age spots. However, the results are often minimal and not guaranteed. It can also take a long time before results are visible. 

Tips for Preventing Sun and Age Spots

Photoaging is not entirely preventable if you spend any amount of time in the sun. However, there are things you can do to limit your sun exposure and reduce your chances of developing more noticeable signs of photodamage. 

  • Avoid sun between 10 am and 2 pm: UV rays are most intense during these hours, so try to schedule outdoor activities for other times if possible. 
  • Broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher: You should always apply sunscreen before spending time outside with an SPF of 30 or higher. It’s also important to reapply every two hours (or more if you are sweating or swimming).
  • Cover up with protective clothing: Clothing made from a thicker or tighter weave will help protect your skin from the UV rays that can cause sunspots. 
  • Don’t tan or use tanning beds: Proactive tanning will speed up the photoaging process and increase your chances of developing sun and age spots earlier than middle age. 
  • Stick to the shade: If you need to be outside, try to stay away from direct sunlight. While you are still exposed to the sun in the shade, it will help protect your skin from the most harmful rays. 

Professional Age Spots Sun Damage Treatments

Photodamage cannot be reversed entirely. However, several professional treatments can rejuvenate the skin by lightening sun and age spots significantly. Some of these treatments can also help address other signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin, and large pores. 

  • Chemical peels: These peels use salicylic and glycolic acid to remove the top layer of photodamaged skin. 
  • PICOWAY Resolve: This technique uses ultra-short laser light pulses to target unwanted pigment (dark spots) with no down-time.
  • Microdermabrasion: This method involves using a product made of fine crystals to scrub or “sand” away the surface layer of the sun-damaged skin. 

Say Hello to Clearer Skin With Ink-B-Gone

At Ink-B-Gone, our team of Laser Technicians and licensed estheticians use cutting-edge treatments and technology to help you reveal smoother, more youthful-looking skin that is free of age and sun spots. We work with each client individually to develop customized treatment plans suited to their specific skin needs. 

We are particularly known for our use of the proprietary PICOWAY RESOLVE laser technology, which targets darker pigmentation without any downtime. In most cases, it only requires one or two treatments to see results. 

However, we also offer several other treatment options as well, depending on your needs and preferences. Our goal is to prioritize your comfort and satisfaction. 

Take the first step toward brighter, clearer skin today by contacting us for a free consultation.