Brown sun spots

Isn't it typical? The sun comes out, and you want to bare your skin to banish that pale, pasty look you've been sporting all winter. But what are those brown spots on your skin?

Brown spots and patches, also known as age spots, sun spots, liver spots, lentigo and solar lentigine, can actually appear in a range of different colours, from red to brown to virtually black. Usually harmless, they can cause embarrassment as they appear on prominent places such as the face, hands, arms and shoulders.

So why do they occur, and what's the solution? The answer is sun damage. The more you expose yourself to the sun, the more these patches are likely to appear. The best cure is prevention, which means a good skin care regime, including sun screen, sun hats, and avoiding the midday sun.

But it's too late, you cry - I already have brown spots! Never fear, as there are several very effective solutions. You can try bleaching the affected skin with over-the-counter topical creams, though do this with great caution. Often the surrounding skin can become lighter too, making the patch all the more noticeable.

Just two sessions of laser treatment could completely remove those bothersome spots. Targeting the pigment in the skin, laser treatment can be a highly successful remedy. Alternatively, cryosurgery uses a freezing agent to remove abnormal cells quickly and with few side effects. Microdermabrasion is an option, involving tiny crystals to take off the top layer of unwanted skin cells in a pain-free procedure, leaving rejuvenated, glowing skin. Facial chemical peels have a similar effect, working on the same principle of removing the dead or damaged layer of skin to reveal the real you underneath!

It's best to seek advice from a skincare specialist, who can recommend the right course of action for you.

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