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4 Ways to Eliminate those Summer Sun Spots to Achieve Your Flawless Fall Complexion

A summer of fun in the sun often comes with some unfortunate consequences—skin damage and unsightly age or sun spots.

If you’re among the many Americans entering this fall season with blemishes and dark spots that weren’t there last winter, you have options. At our state-of-the-art facility, we can help you look and feel younger and rejuvenated. Go into this fall with a glow.

Dr. Sajjadian offers a variety of clinically proven treatments to eliminate sun spots and get your skin looking refreshed. Below we’ll discuss all the best ways to achieve skin and even some tips to boost your at-home skincare regimen and prevent sun damage.

If you have any further questions or would like personalized advice, please call our Newport Beach, CA, office at (949) 515-0550.

Top 4 Proven Ways to Eliminate Sun Spots

1. Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser Skin Resurfacing is number one on our list for a reason: impactful results.

During a Laser Skin Resurfacing treatment, a wand-like device uses a focused beam of light to target pigmented layers of the skin. This eliminates the outermost layer of cells until sun spots are no longer visible and allows new, radiant-looking skin cells to grow in place of the dead skin. The process causes minimal discomfort, and Dr. Sajjadian will apply a local anesthetic to make sure you have a great experience. You’ll see the results finalize over the next 10 to 21 days.

Laser Skin Resurfacing is highly successful in treating unwanted pigmentation. Any sun spots removed by lasers are gone for good. However, continued sun exposure and aging may lead to new spots, which may require further treatments.

2. Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Photofacial

An IPL Photofacial eliminates sun spots by utilizing pulses of light energy to heat and destroy melanin. State-of-the-art technology allows Dr. Sajjadian to provide you with a more even skin tone in just 15 to 30 minutes. Some patients may require multiple sessions to achieve desired results.

Dr. Sajjadian is one of the few triple board-certified plastic surgeons to offer IPL Photofacials and has helped hundreds of patients throughout the Newport Beach and Orange County area achieve younger-looking skin with this cutting-edge procedure.

3. Chemical Peels

Chemical Peels are another excellent way to non-surgically address a variety of skin concerns, especially sun spots or uneven pigmentation after summer sun exposure. By applying an acid solution to sun spots, the top layer of skin will eventually peel away, allowing refreshed, new skin cells to grow. Dr. Sajjadian takes particular care to ensure your comfort and safety throughout the chemical peel process and afterward.

After a chemical peel, the upper layers of dead skin will disappear, reducing any dull appearance to the skin and increasing your natural glow.  This treatment can also stimulate collagen production over time and will enhance cellular turnover.  While you can find “at home” chemical peels available, these generally can be abrasive or painful and may fail to address the deeper roots of dark spots.

During your consultation, Dr. Sajjadian will discuss all the options available and can customize chemical peels to fit every skin type, even the most sensitive. To counteract any redness or dryness, we recommend applying a moisturizer 2 to 3 times a day after your treatment. After your chemical peel, you will need to avoid sunlight and UV exposure for a few days, as the skin will be especially sensitive during this time.

4. Microdermabrasion

During a microdermabrasion procedure, an applicator with an abrasive tip gently removes the outermost layers of skin. Suction gently cleans the skin and removes cellular debris, leaving your skin renewed.

Our patients liken the sensation of microdermabrasion to a facial massage, and many of them love the fresh feeling they get afterwards. In some cases, you may experience temporary redness or tightness immediately following a procedure; this will pass within a day or two. 

That means this procedure does not destroy skin tissue, and therefore requires no recovery period. As microdermabrasion only treats the top layer of skin, it is best suited for milder hyperpigmentation or sun spots.

At-Home Treatments

If you are looking to maintain results at home or want to build in more preventative and counteractive measures to avoid sun spots, we have you covered. Here are the best dermatologist-recommended boots to keep your skin looking young and fresh.

Hydroquinone

When it comes to at-home dark spot treatment, hydroquinone has been number one for over 50 years. Over the counter, you can get products with concentrations of 2 percent or less. With a prescription, generally, patients receive a formulation that contains 4 percent hydroquinone (or even higher concentrations). 

Hydroquinone works by halting the cells that produce melanin and inhibiting the enzyme known as tyrosinase. The skin cannot darken when tyrosinase doesn’t work, as it cannot produce melanin. 

Many studies have demonstrated hydroquinone’s efficacy in dark spot removal and prevention.

In some cases, hydroquinone results can be seen in as little as two weeks. Most patients are able to  see a visible difference in eight to 12 weeks of use. This variance depends on the extent of hyperpigmentation, how deep it goes, how long you’ve had it, etc.

Talk to your dermatologist about receiving a prescription, as this is the most effective and safe way to use this product. We recommend spot testing and applying only at night at first to see how your skin reacts and help prevent any complications.

Azelaic acid

This lesser-known, dermatologist-recommended ingredient is a workhorse when it comes to the treatment of dark spots on the face.

What is it? Naturally occurring in wheat, oat, or rye—this extract interferes with the process of hyperpigmentation. Plus, this powerhouse doesn’t stop at addressing pigmentation. With antibacterial properties, it also helps to get rid of acne and even pimple scarring.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties offer several benefits related to the sun, including acting as a natural sunscreen and protecting against UVA and UVB rays.

When you apply a quality vitamin C serum topically to the skin, it can lighten various dark spots. There are a wide range of topical Vitamin C products, but the gold standard is the C E Ferulic serum by SkinCeuticals.

Delivering a potent dose of ferulic acid and vitamin C, this serum works to lift dark spots and prevent new ones from forming. Vitamin C inhibits aging on a cellular level and stops enzymatic processes that produce melanin and dark coloration.

Another added bonus of topical vitamin C is that it only lightens targeted problematic pigmentation areas while simply enhancing glow and evenness to the rest of your skin.

Aloe

Aloe vera contains a rich blend of active compounds, such as aloesin and aloin, both of which have been found to lighten hyperpigmentation and sun spots.  Adding an aloe gel to your daily routine will help prevent damage, cool and heal burns, and offers a deep hydration boost. Embrace the power of this plant that has been used to heal skin for more than 6,000 years.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which may help to lighten sun spots when applied regularly, according to a 2009 review in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

It’s also a great, scientifically-approved, and super affordable DIY toner. Mix one part organic apple cider vinegar in two parts purified water, and you’re set to go. Apply daily to cleansed skin with a cotton ball before moisturizing and applying SPF.

Lemon Spot Treatment

Another excellent DIY treatment, mix lemon juice with two or three parts water, and apply a light layer with a cotton ball before bed. Lemons act as a natural bleaching agent and over time, will help reduce pigment in any dark spots.

Green Tea Extract Products

Adding a product with green tea extract to your routine can also aid the depigmentation product. A number of studies have shown the incredible natural results green tea can provide.  Look for products with Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) or cameillia sinesis (green tea’s Latin name) in their ingredient list.

Licorice Extract

Licorice extract, a common ingredient in many over-the-counter sunspot creams found in your local beauty store or pharmacy, has also been shown to lighten discoloration caused by sun damage.

Vitamin E

Studies show a vitamin E-rich diet alongside topical vitamin E oil can help protect your skin from UVA and UVB radiation, as well as lighten sun spots. To up your vitamin E intake, you can look to foods such as sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, avocados, swiss chard, and butternut squash.

In general, a balanced plant-rich diet can contribute to healthy, glowing skin.

Topical Creams

If you are looking for over-the-counter topical creams to aid in sunspot reduction, look for products containing hydroxy acid, glycolic acid, kojic acid, or deoxyarbutin. These chemicals are effective and will provide results with consistent use over time.

FAQ

How Can I Tell If My Skin is Sun-Damaged?

No matter how careful you are about sun safety, from wearing hats to daily SPF application, as you age, you’ll begin to notice the effects of sun exposure. Frequent tanning and burns may lead to uneven skin tone or marks that don’t seem to fade on their own.

Damage can show up in several forms, colors, and conditions. Some of the most common are age spots that can range from light brown to reddish or black, freckles, and melasma caused by overproduction of melanin after sunlight exposure.

Risks of Sun Spots?

True sunspots are noncancerous and will not become cancerous. As such, they do not require medical treatment. However, they can be removed for cosmetic reasons. Leaving them will not pose any additional risks to your health.

Preventing Sun Spots

The only way to truly prevent sun spots is by limiting exposure to UVA and UVB rays. Aside from that, your best bet is to apply daily sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which act as physical sunblocks. These block out most of the harmful rays which darken the already dark spots.

Also, look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Even if it’s labeled all day, waterproof, 24-hour, etc, you should plan to reapply it every two hours.

If possible, avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun is strongest. If you need to go outside during these hours, try your best to find shady, cool places to wait out the most harmful radiation.

When shopping for cosmetics, look for products with an SPF. Weather permitting, cover as much skin as you can with clothing when outside.

Schedule a Consultation

Dr. Sajjadian is one of the few triple board-certified cosmetic surgeons in America. He is an expert on skin rejuvenation and the options available to help you achieve desired results.

Whether you are hoping to prevent premature aging or take steps to eliminate sun spots or uneven skin pigmentation, we can help. Our medical spa offers a wide range of treatments to suit every skin type, budget, lifestyle. At our beautiful Newport Beach, CA, office, you will enjoy the considerable aesthetic benefits provided by cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art techniques.

During a consultation, Dr. Sajjadian will work with you one-on-one, listening to all of your concerns and goals. From there, he will provide you with a personalized treatment plan and outline all the necessary information to help you decide how to proceed.

If you have any further questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please call us at 949-515-0550 or contact us online here. We look forward to helping you look and feel your absolute best this fall.