Sun spots are flat brown spots that appear on areas of the body most exposed to the sun, like your face, shoulders, arms and hands. These develop over time from years of frequent or prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) light. UV light accelerates the production of melanin, the pigment in the upper layer of the skin that gives your skin its color, and increases uneven pigment production resulting in sun spots. By protecting your skin from further sun damage, you can lighten and fade sun spots with the help of some natural remedies or tropical treatments.
Apply sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 to exposed skin any time you are outside and exposed to sunlight. This greatly helps in preventing sun damage and more sun spots. Prevent and fade sun spots at the same time with an anti-aging sunscreen or skin cream. The UV shields in such products will protect your skin from further sun damage while the anti-aging ingredients minimize the appearance of existing sun spots.
Consider lightening your sun spots with a natural remedy before resorting to harsher chemical treatments. You can squeeze the juice from one lemon into a bowl and dab the lemon juice on any areas of your skin with sun spots using a cotton ball or a cotton swab. Though fading sun spots with a natural remedy will take longer than other treatments, the gentler fruit acids of lemon juice will brighten your skin with regular use and without irritating your skin.
Use an OTC (over the counter) fade cream or lotion that contains less than 2% of a bleaching agent called hydroquinone. Hydroquinone can cause skin irritation, especially in its synthetic form so combining it with a skin moisturizer is wise. If you have sensitive skin, go for a cream that contains plant-derived hydroquinone or another plant-based lightener, like mulberry root, licorice root, azelaic acid or kojic acid. You may have to use an OTC fade cream for several weeks or months before sun spots fade.
If natural or OTC remedies do not effectively remove brown spots on hands, feet and face over time, talk to your dermatologist about prescription strength creams that contain hydroquinone or with retinoids and a mild steroid. Sun spots will gradually fade over several months with regular use.
While you can permanently remove sun spots with medical treatments for hyperpigmentation like laser therapy, dermabrasion, freezing and chemical peels, try lightening and fading sun spots with at-home treatments before turning to complete sunspot removal. Aside from being expensive, these sun damaged skin treatments can cause temporary discoloration and skin irritation, including scabbing and redness, or even permanent discoloration and scarring.