As we are now moving nearer to Summer, hopefully, you are sat reading this article in your garden with a Piña Colada in hand and enjoying some much-needed sunshine. But beware – the sun should be treated with respect and whilst we need it for vital Vitamin D production to maintain healthy bones, teeth and muscle, its not always our friend especially if we bake ourselves to a delightful lobster pink at the first sign of those rays.
Overexposure to UV rays can cause a condition called ‘Hyperpigmentation’ this is quite common and affects most of us as we age.
Melanin is cells within the skin that produce the colour of our skin. Once exposed to UV rays they can overproduce pigmentation and dark patches can occur on the skins surface, these are commonly known as ‘age spots’ or ‘liver spots’.
Of course, let’s not blame the sun for everything, there are a few other factors that can cause these patches, things such as hormonal changes in the body and certain perception drugs however it is overexposure to UV rays that are the main culprit.
Sunscreen is the single most important factor in protecting the skin and helping to prevent age spots. Always use at least an SPF between 30 and 50. Make sure that you re-apply this every 2 hours, more frequently if your sweating or swimming. Hyperpigmentation is not harmful and in some cases, it will fade on its own.
There are various products and treatments available on the market:
Fruit Acids and Retinol
Used to speed up the shedding of the top layer of the skin it works on gently peeling and evening out skin tone. These two products are available over the counter and need to be used at least twice a day on a continual basis, always apply sunscreen over the top of them.
Treatments available are Chemical Peels, MicroDermabrasion and IPL (Intense Impulsed Light)
You will need to find a specialist skin clinic or dermatologists to perform these treatments. Of course, there is no guarantee that the areas will fade completely but you should see some results.
So, always reach for that sunblock before venturing outside.