As we get older, our skin begins to show signs and symptoms of too much sun exposure. There is a wide variety of different types of sun damage- each with it’s own treatment plan…
- Uneven pigmentation: This occurs when the skin attempts to protect itself from over-sun exposure. Skin eventually increases melanin production, which can create brown-gray patches on the skin. Splotches of reddish pigmentation can also occur- this is due to the sun stretching out blood vessels below the skin.
- Solar lentigo: Solar lentigines are dark, flat, large “freckles” that are caused by UV rays. Although they are benign, they can be indicators of too much sun exposure. Solar lentigines mostly tend to appear on the forehead, cheeks, nose, hands, forearms, shoulders, and back. They can occasionally appear on the lips, too.
- Solar elastosis: Happens when UV radiation disintegrates the skin’s collagen and elastin fibers- elements that keep the skin tight, smooth, and youthful. Solar elastosis loosens skin, which can create significant-looking wrinkles, sagging, and creases.
- Poikiloderma: Similar to uneven pigmentation, poikiloderma creates patches of red-brown skin.
- Lentigo maligna: Lentigo maligna is a flat, dark spot that resembles a solar lentigo. The difference between the two is that a lentigo maligna continues to darken and grow. This may be an indication of something more serious, such as the development of melanoma.
Call your doctor immediately if you see a change in a dark patch’s growth, texture or color, or if it becomes a sore or a bruise.