Whether you call them dark spots, liver spots, or something else, sunspots detract from your overall look.
They frequently appear on people older than 50 on the face, chest, hands, or other parts of the body and can be frustrating to deal with as they won’t go away on their own.
While many will cover them with concealer or overall to even skin tone, it’s natural to want to remove sunspots or at least lessen their appearance.
What are Sunspots?
Sunspots are a type of hyperpigmentation caused by prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays.
These dark spots, called solar lentigines by medical professionals, develop slowly over time, appearing as painless, flat, dark brown, or black blemishes.
Although they are more common in older adults, they can develop in younger people who spend considerable time outdoors.
Sunspots are harmless and don’t pose any risks to your health, but sometimes people confuse them with skin cancer. Your doctor can tell by examining you whether dark spots on your skin pose a threat.
If you are concerned about any unusual skin discoloration, see an experienced dermatologist who can determine if you have age spots, one of several common skin pigmentation disorders, or skin cancer.
Visit your doctor about any concerning areas on your skin that may have recently changed in appearance. Skin cancer warning signs include:
- Very dark spots
- Spots that keep growing in size
- Spots that have irregular borders
- Spots with unusual colors
- Spots that are itchy, painful, red, or bleeding
How to Remove Sunspots on the Face
If you have faint sunspots, you may want to try natural remedies to get rid of sunspots, as they are inexpensive. You probably have many, if not all, of these natural ingredients in your kitchen.
Many have natural skin whitening agents used for centuries in traditional medicine. Always consult your doctor before using any home remedies to treat sunspots.
For most home remedies, you’ll need the natural ingredient, a cotton ball, and possibly a bowl and spoon for mixing. Apply once or twice a day. Here are some home remedies you can try to lighten sunspots:
- Aloe vera gel – Leave on for 30 minutes. Aloe vera contains compounds that aid skin regeneration and improve skin quality.
- Fresh lemon juice – Mix with water, pat it on and then rinse. Alternatively, you can mix lemon juice with water as a scrub to remove dead skin cells through mild exfoliation.
- Apple cider vinegar – When mixed with honey and water, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar works to decrease melanin production.
- Licorice extract – Used in traditional Chinese medicine, this extract helps prevent pigmentation induced by sun exposure when applied to the face.
- Green tea – Place a teabag in a cup of hot water and let it sit for 10 minutes. After letting it cool, place the tea bag on your sun-damaged skin. Green tea is a natural antioxidant that can help fight pigmentation.
- Red onion – Dried red onion skin decreases antityrosinase activity to help whiten skin.
- Vitamin E – Applying topical Vitamin E oil can reduce sun damage on the skin.
Best Treatments for Sunspots on the Face
If you have stubborn age spots produced by the sun’s rays, you may want to try over-the-counter topical skin lightening agents to reduce the appearance of your damaged skin cells.
Look for topical creams that contain hydroquinone, glycolic acid, hydroxy acid, or kojic acid as active ingredients.
If an OTC remedy doesn’t work, ask your dermatologist if a prescription topical cream will remove your age spots.
However, some age spots are so stubborn that no topical treatments will work to remove them.
If this is the case, you’ll need the help of a trained skin care professional who can recommend various non-invasive procedures to remove sunspots. Among the procedures you can consider are:
- Laser resurfacing
- Intense Pulse light (IPL)
- Chemical peel
These cosmetic procedures to reduce sunspot appearance have other benefits too.
Depending on the treatment chosen, they can increase collagen production, improve skin texture, reduce skin irregularities and improve overall skin quality by treating the outermost layer.
Can I Prevent a Sunspot from Developing?
The answer is yes. Staying out of the sun and liberally applying sun protection will help inhibit the mechanisms regulating skin pigmentation while improving your skin’s health.
FAQS about Sunspots
What is the fastest way to get rid of sunspots?
Pigmentation problems can be challenging to treat, yet several treatments can quickly lighten dark spots or eliminate them.
Options can include applying topical medications that contain hydroquinone, retinoids, or a mild steroid.
A dermatologist must perform other treatments, including laser resurfacing and intense pulse light (IPL), dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels.
Can you permanently remove sunspots?
Most sunspots can fade completely over time. Sunspots removed by professional treatments like lasers are usually gone for good.
Nevertheless, new sunspots can appear in the same area because of aging, particularly in people whose skin freckles or burns easily.
What removes sunspots on the skin?
Home remedies like apple cider vinegar, consuming certain foods such as tomatoes, prescription or over-the-counter creams, and dermatological treatments can all remove sunspots.
Note that these remedies have varying degrees of success.
Sandra is a health blogger based in San Diego, California. She is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. She loves being outdoors and exploring new places with her husband. She is a mom of two awesome kids and a dog named Luna!