Spots on the skin: what can I do?
There are multiple and diverse causes that can cause the appearance of spots on the skin, but if something is clear is that while age is one of the least important factors, the sun is the real enemy of the skin, so learn to protect yourself in an appropriate way they can stop the appearance of these spots.
According to Blanca de Unamuno, dermatologist at the University Hospital and Polytechnic La Fe, in Valencia, «the main cause of the appearance of spots on the skin is exposure to solar radiation.» The expert explains that this is because «prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays causes the skin to generate more melanin, the natural pigment that protects against solar radiation, so that in those areas of our skin where melanin accumulates, a spot will eventually appear. «
These spots, says De Unamuno, «are known as solar lentigo and often come out in frequently exposed areas, such as the face, back and neck, both in men and women.» Other additional factors that can influence the appearance of spots on the skin are hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy or with the taking of contraceptives, which give rise to another type of spots known as melasma and that usually appear in areas such as the cheeks, forehead and mustache.
The paper that meets the age in this aspect, says the specialist, is because «over the years increase the chances of developing this type of spots», since there is a longer time of exposure to the sun and the skin becomes drier and less elastic. Although there is no determined age from which these lesions begin to appear, since it depends on the time and degree of sun exposure, they are usually more frequent between 30 and 40 years.
The head of the Dermatology Service of the University General Hospital of Alicante, Isabel Betlloch, defends in this sense that «there are many types of spots, then you can not generalize when we talk about them, since there may be other types of injuries that are due to other causes. «
Faced with this problem, Betlloch assures that «the only thing that is in our hands is to protect us from the sun, because the other factors do not depend on us». In this sense, De Unamuno states that «the use of daily sun photoprotectors on the skin usually exposed, such as the face, neck and hands» is fundamental.
The specialist claims that «there is a mistaken belief that we should use these creams only in the summer months, however, UV radiation is present throughout the year, to a greater or lesser extent, so it is necessary to maintain continuous protection. » In addition, the use of these protective creams, states, «not only prevents the appearance of solar lentigo, but prevents the appearance of skin cancer.»
How to treat the spots?
In case they have appeared, there are numerous topical products and chemical and physical techniques to make these lesions disappear, although it is important, before taking any action, to contact a professional who confirms the diagnosis and can give a specific solution for the type of the spot in question. Among the available treatments, says De Unamuno, «we found depigmenting agents, peelings and laser treatments and light sources»:
- Depigmenting agents: The specialist emphasizes hydroquinone and its derivatives, kojiko acid, azelaic acid and retinol.
- Peeling: combinations of different types of acids and depigmenting agents in different concentrations are used, depending on the pathology to be treated.
- Lasers and light sources: The expert states that among the options with the highest rate of effectiveness are pulsed light and Q-Swichted lasers, which are used for solar lentigo type spots. It also highlights as an alternative the possibility of treatment with cryotherapy in certain lesions that are more localized.
How to take care of the skin at home?
The fundamental pillars for the care of the skin are hydration and photoprotection, since both measures aim to prevent skin photoaging, and with it the appearance of spots and the possibility of developing cancer
De Unamuno also advises a diet rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, carotenoids and lycopene, since «they have proven to have a protective role against aging». Tobacco causes a premature aging of the skin, makes it harder to heal wounds and favors the appearance of skin cancer, so avoiding it also falls within the recommendations for healthy, blemish-free skin.