Sunspots: causes, prevention and remedies


Some of us after a prolonged exposure to the sun, they may notice small spots on the skin of the face; in fact it is not rare to notice the appearance of Sunspots, a particular dyschromia, that is an alteration in the pigmentation of the skin, which, on the face, is concentrated above all in the area of ​​the nose, upper lip and cheekbones.

The causes of sun spots on the face

Cause of sunspot formation on the face is a malfunction of melanocytes, the cells responsible for the production of melanin, which is the substance that protects the epidermis from UV rays and the one that gives our skin a uniform tan, when it appears homogeneously.

It is precisely when the melanocytes do not work properly, and the tan disappears, that those annoying brown or gray spots can remain on the skin of the face; genetic, environmental or hormonal factors also contribute to their formation.

How to recognize sunspots from other discolorations?

There are different types of spots that can appear on the skin, so it is important to learn to distinguish them, also to take the necessary precautions in the case of those that, potentially, can be more dangerous.

  • Melasma or chloasma: in this case there is no uniform concentration of melanin, and its main cause is excessive exposure to the sun, but not only. This discoloration can also depend on some variations in estrogen, in fact it is quite common in pregnancy or if you take the contraceptive pill. The use of cosmetics or perfumes, certain medications, and stress can also trigger the onset of these spots.
  • Ephelids: they depend on a characterized epidermal hypermelaninosis, and are mostly found in subjects defined as phototype 1, that is, with red hair and blue eyes. They are genetically transmitted and appear from childhood and then increase with age, they increase with sun exposure but beware: they are not to be confused with freckles.
  • Freckles or lentigo: they are darker, brown or black hyperpigmented spots, with a rounded and regular shape and of variable size, which generally appear in adulthood and change little with sun exposure, or following sunburn, especially on the face and shoulders ( in this case they are called solar or actinic lentigos).
  • Senile lentigo: they depend on an increase in the number of melanocytes and melanin and are frequent in elderly subjects, manifesting mainly on the face and back of the hands.
  • Lentigo maligna: represents a type of melanoma which, unlike other forms of benign spots, has a slow evolution over the years and a brownish-brown color, with uneven pigmentation that spreads irregularly on the skin. For this dyschromia, surgical treatment and histological examination are required.
  • Post inflammatory hyperchromias: they are the result of inflammatory skin lesions such as acne, infectious dermatoses, itchy dermatoses, or insect bites, but also of treatments such as peeling, laser, surgery. They are more common in dark skin types and in patients with black skin.
  • Keratosis: There are seborrheic keratoses is actinic keratoses. The first are benign lesions that arise around the age of 50, especially on the face, and depend on a genetic and family predisposition. The latter are instead considered gods squamous cell carcinomas in situ, which appear in the photo-exposed areas in fair-skinned subjects after prolonged and chronic sun exposure.

How to prevent sunspots

Obviously the first, and most important, means we have to prevent the appearance of these annoying discolorations is represented by sun protection; in particular, to prevent its occurrence, we can:

  • protect the skinespecially if it is particularly clear or sensitive;
  • choose protective products with suitable filters;
  • use Sun glasses with wide frames that also cover the eye contour;
  • to limit our exposure to the sun;
  • do not expose yourself to sunlight when in the maximum peak and, therefore, between 11.00 and 16.00;
  • remember to use the protective filter also daily basis, in the city;
  • follow a diet rich in competing foods flavonoids, with an important antioxidant action, such as citrus fruits, berries, gooseberry, Kiwi, avocado, tomatoes is carrots.

Remedies for sun spots on the face

To intervene against sunspots you must first understand what type and depth they are, so it is essential to contact your own dermatologist of trust, who will be able to indicate the most appropriate treatment.

When you decide to intervene on these discolorations, it is done with specific cosmetic products such as depigmenting and lightening creams or, in the case of deeper stains, with chemical peels, cryotherapy, laser and pulsed light treatments. These are some of the products you can find for sale on Amazon to combat sunspots.

Eucerin Anti Pigment Day

Eucerin Anti Pigment Day

Eucerin Day Cream effectively reduces dark spots and prevents them from returning.

€ 19 on Amazon

28 € you save 9 €


  • With UVA and UVB protection
  • Protection factor 50

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FotoUlta100 Protection

FotoUlta100 Protection

FotoUlta100 offers protection against UVA rays, responsible for the pigmentation process, 3 times higher than the minimum required by a SPF 50+ sunscreen. Improves skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles thanks to hyaluronic acid. Its Fusion Fluid texture blends with the skin.

€ 26 on Amazon


  • Dermatologically tested, hypoallergenic, water resistant
  • Improves skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles thanks to hyaluronic acid

Angstrom Protect Anti Age Sun Cream

Angstrom Protect Anti Age Sun Cream

Science, technology, dermocosmetic research and experience at the service of a safe “suncare” are the ingredients (but above all the values) that you find in all Angstrom sunscreens.

6 € on Amazon

14 € you save 8 €


  • Sunscreen 50+ with anti-wrinkle and anti-stain prevention,
  • Suitable for sensitive skin, 40 ml


  • It gives a shiny effect to the skin

However, there are also some natural remedies to lighten sun spots, such as lactic acid or citric acid (which, however, could have an aggressive effect on the skin). The watchword, when it comes to sunspots, is therefore undoubtedly prevention.

Original article published on January 4, 2021

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