In summer, spots in the facial region are frequently seen in the sun and the first thing to do is a dermatological diagnosis because its origin may be due to different circumstances. According to Dr. de la Cueva , head of the Dermatology Service at the Hospital Universitario Infanta Leonor , many spots appear or are accentuated with sun exposure such as freckles or ephelides, lentigines or melasma.
He explains that lentigines are well-defined brown spots that appear after the accumulation of solar radiation throughout life, so they are a sign of photo-aging, such as the appearance of wrinkles. They appear in both women and men, in the most exposed areas and grow in size and number as the person’s age advances.
He adds that melasma appears mainly in young and middle-aged women, in the summer months and is more frequent in pregnant women (it has also been called a pregnancy mask) or in women who use contraceptives. Although it is more rare, it can affect men. The spots appear in the area of the cheeks, forehead or upper lip and are usually accentuated in the summer months with sun exposure.
If they go out, is it advisable not to sunbathe anymore?
It is clear that sun exposure is one of the fundamental causes of the appearance of spots and we do not recommend intense exposure. Currently there are sunscreens with high protection factors (50+) that are indicated for people with spots.
What is to be done?
First of all, take care of our skin and keep it in the best possible hydration and cleaning conditions. A broad spectrum protection factor should also be used.
Do they disappear over time?
Depending on the nature of the facial spots, the course of these will be different. In melasma, it is normal that with good skin care and the passage of time the problem is mitigated, although there are many patients who present the problem recurrently all summer periods.
Lentigines, or age-related sunspots, do not disappear over time and usually grow in size and number, both in the facial area and commonly on the back of the hands. They are not especially accentuated in summer.
Is it possible to prevent them?
What is in our hands are the tips for protecting and caring for the skin, but even so many times the spots will appear and what we have to do are various treatments: such as the use of depigmenting creams, peels or laser techniques that manage to eliminate stains.
Do they only come out in the face?
The face is an area very exposed to the sun and with a special predilection for the appearance of spots, but it is not the only one. Lentigines are very frequent in the shoulder area in people who have a special sensitivity to the sun and have had sunburns. It is also very frequent that the spots appear on the upper extremities, in exposed areas and especially on the hands.
Does having them imply an increased risk of skin cancer?
The vast majority of lentigo-type spots do not present a cancer risk, but they are an indicator that the person has had prolonged sun exposure or has especially sensitive skin that leads to an increased risk of skin cancer.
One aspect that I must highlight is that there are other types of pigmented lesions that are moles or nevi, which we must differentiate from the spots described above, and diagnose correctly. The moles are benign, but we must bear in mind that we must monitor them to be sure that they are not a melanoma. Melanoma is a malignant tumor of the skin. What characterizes it is its irregularity, both in its shape, color … Its early detection is essential to avoid serious consequences