It is already smelling of spring. The days are longer and the sun begins to warm a little more. In the middle of the pandemic, and after a harsh and cold winter, what you most want is to enjoy long periods of time outdoors under the sun.
But although coats and scarves continue to accompany us on our walks, we must not forget that sun exposure can cause spots on our skin. Stains that, during the winter, and now more with the masks, we forget and we regret with the summer.
Types of skin spots
According to Healthy Skin FoundationThere are three types of spots that can appear on our skin surface, and that, with the sun, can increase their intensity.
• Senile lentigo. It is a reaction of the skin to ultraviolet radiation, which it is usually located in the areas most exposed to the sun: face, neck, décolleté and arms.
Often appear from 60 years and they are usually due to a lifetime of long sun exposures and even burns. Y once they appear, they no longer disappear, even if we stop sunbathing.
• El melasma, also known as “pregnancy mask”, is characterized by the appearance of irregular spots on the face, especially on the forehead, cheekbones, and upper lip. It can also occur on the neck or forearms. They have a brownish tone, more or less intense, and are quite unsightly.
This type of stain is very common in women, and can appear very early, around the age of 20. Why? Well, it seems that it is related to the female hormonal system, since it usually appears during pregnancy or by taking contraceptives.
It is a source of many complexes because, unfortunately, these spots can last for years and their tone becomes darker the greater the sun exposure.
• And finally, the dreaded melanoma, a malignant skin tumor. Its appearance can give us clues to differentiate it from another type of stain. It can present different shades (from light brown to black) and they are usually spots with irregular edges, poorly defined and a certain asymmetry.
Sometimes they appear suddenly, but it is common for them to arise from moles that we already had. That is why it is important to monitor any change in color, size or symmetry of our moles, and go to the dermatologist for any abnormality.
Except for melanoma, the rest of the spots are not serious, but in many cases they are unsightly and, in some people, they can affect their quality of life. So, although dermatological clinics already offer a large number of treatments to eliminate or minimize them, the best according to the experts is to prevent them.
And it is achieved in a simple way with the daily use of sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and avoiding exposure during the central hours of the day (between 12 and 16 hours). We already know that they are well-known measures, but sometimes we remember them only in summer, or when it has already passed and our skin is marked by hyper pigmented areas.
How to treat skin blemishes
If we already have lentigines and we want to eliminate them, we have a few months before summer to do it. The Healthy Skin Foundation explains that the treatment of this type of stains is simple “and with a single session they can be solved in most occasions ”.
Dermatologists often use the cryosurgery spray, peeling, or laser to remove lentigines.
As for melasma, things are more complicated. Once melasma appears, it will most likely continue to do so each time we increase our exposure to the sun.
And it is that the skin experts assure that the “treatment has to be continued throughout the year”. For this reason, the use of photoprotectors is essential during all seasons. And yes, in winter too.
If, in addition to this, depigmenting products are used 2-3 times a week, the better. Knowing, of course, that these whitening treatments always have to be applied at night if we want them to work. And on these dates we are also in time to resort to lasers.
Of course, this type of treatment must be performed by specialists in dermatology. Not just any laser or any peeling is worth it.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.