Dermatology/sun spots


Thank you so much for your time.  I recently went to the beach and one day while fishing on a pier, I failed to apply enough sunscreen on my face and was shocked when I looked in the mirror. I have a light complexion with usual freckles on my face and arms, but my face got a ton of light brown speckles on it.  What can I do to remove them?

Freckles are little brown spots on the skin that are caused by the sun. We all have pigment-producing cells in our skin called melanocytes. These melanocytes produce melanin pigment and feed it to keratinocytes, the normal skin cells that form the outer barrier of our skin.This barrier protects us from the insults of nature, and importantly, from the sun. This pigment prevents us from being damaged by the sunís powerful rays. When our melanocytes become damaged by the sun, we produce freckles, which are simply abnormal collections of melanin pigment in the skin.
Treatment can be with lasers, bleaching creams such as hydroquinone, and cryotherapy. I prefer the Laser but the problem you have is if you go out in the sun without protection the freckles will return no matter what treatment you use. The problem with cryotherapy is that if the treatment is too aggressive it can leave white spots on your skin. The problem with bleaching creams is that the skin color may become uneven.


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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>


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