Sunspots on skin are white, red dots or patches due to exposure to UV rays from sunlight. Are they dangerous? They usually have different effects on the skin and may later develop into skin cancer. Explore facts, pictures, causes, signs, and symptoms of sunspots on skin. Furthermore, learn how to get rid of and prevent them with medical treatments and home remedies.
Summary of Page Contents
- Signs and Symptoms of Sunspots on Skin
- Sunspots on Skin Pictures
- Causes of Sunspots on Skin
- How to Get Rid of Sunspots on Skin
- When to See a Doctor
- Sources and References
Signs and Symptoms of Sunspots on Skin
Sunspots on your skin are also known as solar lentigines. They usually appear in areas of your body that are exposed to sunlight. The common areas of your body that can develop sunspots include scalp, face, shoulders, arms, and legs.
Solar lentigines are small dark spots that can develop on your skin due to exposure to sunlight. Also, these spots can also appear as black, brown, pink, red, grey or white in color depending on your skin tone or color.
The sunspots on your skin can be either raised spots or flat patches that look like liver spots or age spots. The raised sunspots on the skin are usually in form of dark bumps, pimples, freckles and wrinkles that develop in the affected skin area.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms that are associated with sunspots on the skin. They include the following:
- Dark, black, brown, red, pink or white spots and patches on the skin
- Dry, flaky, scaly, cracked skin and sometimes leathery
- Few or numerous black dots on the skin
- Small or large dark patches on the skin
- Inflamed, tender and itchy or burning sensation on skin
- Fluid-filled burns on the skin after sun exposure
- Raised bumps, sores or blister on the skin
- Wrinkles and freckles that make the skin appear rough
The symptoms of sunspots may range from mild to chronic depending on the effect of sun damage on your skin. For instance, sunspots can be tiny, small and few spots or large and numerous dark patches in the affected area of the skin.
Sunspots vs Freckles
Freckles are types of sunspots on skin. Usually, they are small black, brown or red pigmented dots or patches that can occur on the surface of the skin due to sun exposure. Sometimes they are known as lentigo.
Sunspots Skin Fungus
Sometimes sunspots on your skin might show up as symptoms that resemble that of skin fungus. Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis is a skin condition that develops from sunspots that are characterized by dry scaly white patches that look like skin fungus.
Are Sunspots on skin Dangerous?
Sunspots on your skin are usually dangerous. They can lead to serious beauty and health problems. Occasionally, sunspots can threaten your beauty by making your skin look less attractive with dark spots, freckles, and wrinkles.
More dangerously, sunspots on your skin can develop into actinic keratosis that is liked to a cancerous condition such as melanoma. Skin cancer is a chronic condition that is difficult to manage. It is advisable to prevent sunspots on your skin by either applying sunscreen on your skin or avoid direct exposure to sunlight.
Sunspots on Skin Pictures
How does a skin with sunspots look like? To see how it might appear, we have inserted pictures of sunspots on the skin in various parts of this post. This picture or photos may have a slight visual difference form your actual skin condition due to variation in skin color.
These pictures are good sources of comparison you may use to assess your skin and get a personal clue about your skin condition. However, it is not advisable to use these pictures as a reference for self-diagnosis and treatment without involving your doctor.
Causes of Sunspots on Skin
What causes sunspots on the skin? You can develop small black sunspots on your skin due to two major causes. These are the sun and arterial lamp in the tanning beds. Also, there are several risk factors that might encourage your skin to develop dark sunspots. These causes include:
1. Direct and long exposure to sunlight
According to information of doctors from Mayo Clinic, they attribute that your skin can develop dark sunspots due to the prolonged direct exposure to sunlight. The sun has harmful UV-rays that can lead to sunburns and sunspots.
The UV- rays from the sun can result in either acute or chronic damage to your skin. The acute damage of the sunlight is usually associated with few and mild sunspots, slight burns, dry scales and white patches on your skin that are that are not permanent and they are easy to restore to normal.
Unlike acute effect, chronic damage of sunlight can lead to a more serious skin condition that is more permanent and difficult to manage. Examples of a serious condition that are related to chronic sunspots include:
- Severe skin burns
- Actinic keratosis
- Skin cancer
- Premature age spots
- Permanent black spots
- Permanent freckles
- Chronic skin wrinkling
2. Artificial lamp
The artificial that produces UV- light is another cause that can lead to dark spots on your skin that looks similar to sunspots. The UV- light from the artificial lamp or tanning beds can stimulate melanocytes on your skin to produces excess melanin that can result in dark sunspots or age spots.
Long exposure of your skin to the harmful UV light from the artificial lamb can also result in serious skin damage. You can develop sunburns, freckles, wrinkles, actinic keratosis, Melasma, age spots and even skin cancer.
Risk factors that cause sunspots
Your skin can develop sunspots due to some predisposing factors. These factors involve the inability of the body to tolerate sunlight hence can lead to sunspots. They include:
- Lighter skin: having less amount of melanin on your skin is a risk factor that can encourage your skin to develop sunspots easily when you are exposed to sunlight.
- Albinism: this is a genetic disorder that that leads to lack of skin melanin. Having this condition can encourage sunspots on your skin.
- Sensitivity to sunlight: you can develop dark spots on the skin if your body is photosensitive to develop an allergic reaction that is related to sunlight such as skin rash.
- Aging: the more you become older; sunspots also develop on your skin and become more prominent. Sunspots in aged people are commonly known as age spots or liver spots.
Red Sunspots on Skin
Sunspots on your skin are not always black or brown in color. They can also show up as red fat or raised spots on the skin. Solar keratosis is a common type of sunspot that can appear as red hard dots like bumps that can develop in face, scalp, arms, legs or any other parts of your body.
White Sunspots on Skin
Other than dark spots, your skin can also develop white spots. This can occur when sun damage prevents the melanocytes from forming skin pigment. Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis is the type of skin condition that is characterized by hypopigmentation and white sunspots.
How to Get Rid of Sunspots on Skin
You can get rid of red of sunspots on your skin using various treatment methods. You can use either home remedies or medical treatment method.
Medical treatment is the best option you can go for in case your skin has sunspots that are likely to advance to a more serious health problem. This method is effective for sunspots that can develop into a serious condition such as cancer, actinic keratosis, freckles, wrinkles and premature age spots.
You can visit your medical doctor who can help you in diagnosis and treatment of your skin problem. The common treatment method that your doctor might use to cure chronic sunspots on your skin includes the following:
- Prescription of skin lightening creams and lotion that can help to remove dark sunspots from your skin
- Prescription Oral drugs that can help to lighten your skin and clear away sunspots
- Laser treatment that includes microdermabrasion and Dermabrasion that can help to lighten your skin from sunspots
If your skin has tiny or few mild sunspots, no need to visit your doctor for medical treatment. You can use natural treatment methods get rid of your skin problem. Here are some of the home remedies you can use to cure your skin problem:
1. Lemon juice
Lemon juice is a natural skin bleaching reagent you can use as a remedy to remove dark sun spot on skin.
How to use:
- Get ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice
- Use a cotton ball to apply the juice to the affected area of your skin
- Allow it to stay on your skin for about 30 minutes before washing it
- Repeat to apply it twice in a day for few weeks until sunspots on your skin clear away
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is an effective home remedy that can help to lighten sunspots on your skin:
How to use:
- Get the Aloe Vera cream or gel
- Use your hands to apply it to the affected area of your skin
- Leave it to stay on your skin during the whole day or night before washing your skin
- Repeat to apply this treatment twice in a day for few weeks
3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is an excellent home remedy you can use to get rid of dry and scaly patches of sunspots on your skin.
How to use:
- Clean the affected area with water and pat dry it with a washcloth
- Apply the coconut oil to the affected area
- Allow it to stay on your skin for more than 1hour before ringing it off
- Repeat to apply it two times in a day for few weeks until sunspots on your skin go away
- You can alternatively use any other essential oil instead of coconut oil such as olive oil, castor oil, lavender oil and Neem tree oil
4. Raw honey
Raw honey has a natural skin bleaching properties that can help to lighten dark sunspots. It can also help to remove wrinkles from your skin:
How to use:
- Get 2 tablespoons of raw honey
- Apply it directly to the affected area
- Leave it to stay on your skin for about 15 minutes before you rinse it off
- Repeat this procedure twice in a day for few weeks until sunspots on your skin go away
5. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has acidic properties that can help to bleach black sunspots on your face and other parts of the body.
How to use:
- Dilute ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar with equal volume of water
- Use a cotton ball to apply the solution to the affected area of your skin
- Allow it to dry before rinsing it off with warm water
- Repeat this treatment three times in a day for few weeks until your skin improves
You can use other home remedies such as the application of tomato juice chamomile, baking soda, turmeric, potato juice and sugar scrub.
How to Prevent Sunspots on Skin
you can prevent sunspots on your skin by using the following tips:
- Avoid direct and long exposure of your skin to sunlight
- Avoid the use of tanning bed that has harmful UV-rays
- Apply screen creams on your skin to protect it against harmful UV-rays from the sun
- Use umbrella and huts to protect your skin against sunlight
- Stay indoors or under the shade
When to See a Doctor
You can see you doctor over sunspots on skin if you notice the following conditions:
- If the sunspots on your skin has persisted for more than three weeks without clearing away
- If the sunspots develop into bumps or blisters that can bleed easily
- When sunspots are accompanied by other strange symptoms such as chronic skin rash and blister
- If your skin develops sunspots that causes severe itchiness or burning sensation that you cannot withstand