Sunspots are a very big concern and patients refer to sunspots... Sometimes we have to look at it medically and make sure what we're dealing with is a sunspot. The sunspots typically mean lentigos. That's the medical term for it, but sometimes people call a mole a sunspot, sometimes some could actually be dangerous as skin cancer and think it's a sunspot. So we bring back our dermatologic skills on the medical side and make sure that we're dealing with is something that's safe.

Sunspots, though, a classic one can be treated with lasers very effectively and entirely eliminate it. Typically we use Q-switched pigment lasers. That's the category. You may hear, in my office, me referring to the laser called a ruby laser, or a YAG laser. These are typical pigment lasers that we may use. There's even a brand new laser called the PicoSure that we're using that can help with these spots as well. A lot of times it's patient-specific. Every patient is a little different. Their background skin color impacts which laser we ultimately decide upon using. When we use that laser, we can have a very good response.

Usually in, I'd say, one to three treatments, we can get rid of a sun spot very quickly and effectively and our patients can be very happy.

The downtime for a sunspot definitely exists if you are going to treat it properly. Typically, when you treat a sunspot, a scab will appear in the spot. It's a very flat one and often very dark. That dark scab can last up to a week I'd say on the face. Some people are bothered by that and so will do one or two at a time and they'll wear a Band-Aid over it to make it seem like a scrape. Some people like to make this happen all in one shot and so we treat the majority of them. For that week, they kind of hide out and they don't plan on having certain important activities, events in their lives that they wouldn't want to look as though they have been gone through a treatment. The downtime does depend on the body side as well. For the face, the scab may be there for a week, but as you go down the body, it can last for two weeks, three weeks, even for sometimes four on the hands.

Sun Spot Identification, Treatment, and Downtime Expectations

Dr. Robert Anolik addresses common questions pertaining to sun spots.