Are Those Sunspots?

Many patients come to our office with concerns of sunspots on their skin. It is one of the most common skin conditions that we diagnose. Sunspots are medically termed “actinic keratosis” (AK). Sunspots develop when the skin is damaged from UV rays or indoor tanning. They appear as dry, scaly and rough patches of skin that can be flesh-colored or more reddish-brown in tone. Chances are, if you have actinic keratosis, you have more than one of these patches on the back of your hands, head, neck or other sun exposed areas of your body.

Why should you be concerned about sunspots? Without proper treatment, up to 10% of AKs develop into squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer. If you aren’t sure if your spots are actually actinic keratosis, it is always best to be seen by a dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis.

How are sunspots treated? While chemical peels and even cryotherapy can be used to treat AK, the most common and most effective form of treatment is photodynamic light therapy. This is a simple, non-invasive procedure that involves applying a special, photo-sensitive lotion to the affected area of skin and using an advanced laser light source to activate the solution. This combination destroys or reduces the abnormal cells and excessive oil gland cells. In result, the skin is smoother, clearer and healthier!

After photodynamic laser therapy it is important that you avoid sun exposure for 48 hours. In most cases, your sunspot treatment will require a series of sessions over a set period of time. Rest assured that Olansky Dermatology Associates offers the most advanced laser technology available. We will also take the time to tell you how you can prevent sunspots in the future.

Posted on behalf of Olansky Dermatology Associates