The skin can suffer greatly from over exposure to the sun. Getting a sunburn is of minimal concern when one considers the long lasting effects of getting too much sun. When the skin is exposed to excessive sun it can result in patches of skin which become discolored. A dermatologist would call these darkened patches solar lentigines, but they are commonly known as sun spots. Many times they are brown but in some skin types they appear more grayish in color. They may also be accompanied by other signs of damage caused by the sun’s harmful rays such as dry or thinning skin or wrinkles.
Who is likely to get sun spots?
Sun spots can be various sizes, shapes and even colors. They are typically seen on the areas of skin which receive the most direct sunlight such as the face and hands. It is more likely that people who have fairer skin will get sun spots than those who have darker pigmented skin. Statistically, about 90 percent of people over 60 who are considered to be light skinned or fair skinned have some sun related sun spots. This does not mean that individuals who have darker skin are immune to scarring by the sun. Deeper skin tones display damage as gray spots or ashy areas on the skin. These unsightly spots are typically seen after years of overexposure to the harmful rays of the sun, but young people who do a lot of tanning even in tanning beds or booths can also have premature sun spots. There are some ways to prevent these sun spots from ever occurring in the first place.