Dr Joanna Lovatt

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Hands up if you've had enough of sun spots

Posted 21 May 2019
Dr Joanna Lovatt - Redhead smiling in the sun

It’s nearly summertime and if you believe the news, there is a heatwave on the way. Whether you enjoy going into the garden, lying on the beach or lighting up a BBQ, warm weather has a way of getting us outside.

If like most people you plan on a summer al fresco, don’t forget sun season is also sun spot season. So whilst you’re soaking up the rays, always protect your skin. And if you’ve already had enough of ageing sun spots – don’t despair!

A few years ago Chip Bergh, the CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., famously revealed that he never washed his jeans – ever. Speaking while wearing a 10 year old pair, his claim was that washing damages denim and a quick spot clean or air on a washing line was fine. Presumably after a while his 501s could stand up and walk themselves to the washing machine should they wish to and so would be happy either way. Chip’s claim may have been gross, but he made a good point – if you take care of things then they last longer.

That principle applies very well to our skin. We may love getting some vitamin D, but the sun is powerful and we need to protect ourselves against skin damage – including on our hands. Though one of the most exposed parts of our body, we so often neglect the needs of our hands. And yet they are particular risk of damage and dreaded sun spots.

Sun spots on our hands are harmless, but can be unsightly and ageing. The flat, brown blemishes vary in size and are caused by excess pigmentation. In short, exposure to UV rays from the sun or a tanning bed encourages the body to produce melanin, which eventually gathers just below the surface of the skin.

It may be easy to get sun spots, but there are also simple ways to help protect against them. Most importantly, wear sun cream. We dermatologists recommend those with at least SPF 15 and both UVA and UVB protection. And remember your hands. They are not just for applying sun cream to other parts of your body - they need proper love and coverage. Don’t forget to re-apply it regularly too.

Also try to stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm when the sun’s UV rays are strongest and pack plenty of antioxidants into your diet.

If you wish you’d read this advice before you got your own sun spots then don’t worry, there is still hope. When it comes to removing blemishes like sun spots, cryotherapy is the top choice. Using a very cold temperature applied with millimetre precision, the treatment freezes and destroys problem cells. No down time or anaesthetic is needed, so with minimal effort you can leave the damage behind and be left with healthy, younger and more beautiful looking skin.

If you’ve had enough of sun spots on your hands, stop the signs of ageing and damage with a cryotherapy treatment. Contact me by phoning 01722 632633 or 07493 520517 to arrange a free consultation and get ready to look and feel great this summer.

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Wiltshire SP1 3AA