As we age we are more prone to sun damage and sunspots appearing on our skin. These spots can also be known as age spots and typically occur because of excessive exposure to the sun. This can be quite a common occurrence in men, who in many cases have not historically used sun block or sunscreen, and have spent a lot of time outdoors, especially those men who are keen on sports and partake in outdoor activities on a regular basis.
For example: A higher percentage of women reported that they regularly use sunscreen on their face (42.6 percent) than on other exposed skin (34.4 percent). This discrepancy was smaller among men, with 18.1 percent regularly using sunscreen on their face and 19.9 percent regularly using it on other exposed skin. (Source – American Academy of Dermatology
Over time even those individuals who have been careful and used sunscreen on a regular basis can still have issues with sunspots and discoloration. The reason for this is that any form of sun exposure will increase the melanin within the skin. Melanin is a natural occurring substance that can increase with sun exposure. The downside to additional melanin production within the skin is that it can make it appear darker, and patchy over time. For men looking to treat sun damage or pigmentation issues within the skin the good news is that there is a number of different procedures that we can use to help improve the overall look and tone of the skin.
When the goal is to completely remove sun spots one of the first types of treatment that we’ll consider is laser treatment. Laser treatments can come in a number of different forms, and there are different lasers that can be used to treat different conditions. Some of the possible solutions that may be used is the Candela Alex-Trivantage. This laser targets the sun damage directly and can be used to remove sun spots. Generally, it takes a week to recover from this laser so some down time is required.
In addition to the Candela Alex-trivantage the Fraxel Dual laser, or the Clear + Brilliant, laser may be used if appropriate. Typically, the amount of sun damage needs to be taken into consideration, along with how many treatments the patient may wish to undertake. For men who have minor sun damage issues that they are looking to clear up, a ‘lighter’ treatment such as Clear & Brilliant, which works well on fair complexions may be suitable.
In some cases it is possible to treat a number of different things in one go. For example, men who also wish to reduce the appearance of both wrinkles and sun spots at the same time may benefit from a session with the Fraxel Dual laser which can help both issues at once.
It should be noted that sun damage doesn’t necessarily occur just on the face, although this is the area that we most commonly deal with. Other areas can include the chest and body and in these cases laser treatments can also work well in reducing the appearance of sun spots on the skin.
Skin damage caused by excess sun exposure can be treated using other techniques that do not use a laser. Chemical peels, which are growing in popularity amongst men, can also be used to treat sun damage. One of the advantages of a chemical peel is that they can treat quite a large area of skin at a time. Chemical peels are available in a range of different strengths, but generally we only ever recommend having superficial (light) or medium peels and we tend not to recommend deep peels since the recovery time for these peels can be very long.
Before and after pictures
Fraxel for sunspots on a male patient
57 year old male treated for sun spots with AlexTrivantage laser
*Disclaimer: Results may vary with each patient.
Find out more about the range of treatments available to men for sun damage and sunspots. Contact us online today or call Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Michele Green’s NYC based office at 212-535-3088