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Sun Spots

Sun Spots

Sun spots can be confused with some other skin infections, however there are some striking features which clearly differentiates sun spots from other skin infections. Just like many other sun-induced infections, sun spots result from the excessive exposure of the skin to the damaging effect of ultraviolet sun rays, but  sun spots can be mistaken for a fungal infection. Sun spots often form in a variety of shapes, they can be small, flat, round or oval in shape, and are commonly found on the face, scalp, upper chest or back and backs of the hands, they less frequently appear on areas not regularly exposed to the sun such as the upper thighs & bottom. This is one striking feature of sun spots, if your brown spots appear on areas not exposed to the sun then it may be a skin infection.

It can be quite difficult sometimes to identify the formation of sun spots on dark skinned people, they are however more easily recognizable on people with fair skin. There are several other methods one can use in identifying sun spots. Skin affected by sun spots often shows other signs of sun damage for example it can appear rough in texture or have wrinkles. Large patches of pigmentation are usually caused by melasma or chloasma which is made worse by the sun but is not caused by it.  You need to see a doctor to find the root cause of melasma & it must be treated accordingly.

Unlike many skin infections especially viral skin infections which are contagious in nature, sun spots are not contagious. However, a condition called malasezzia furfur can often be mistaken for sun spots, but its actually caused by a fungus. The yeast that causes the infection naturally lives on the surface of the skin and some conditions such as malnutrition, alongside the use of oral contraceptives for instance can trigger the multiplication and actions of the natural yeast which may lead to the onset of the infection.

Contrary to many beliefs that sun spots can result in skin cancer, this is absolutely untrue. This belief is confused with the fact that other forms of sun damage (such as actinic keratosis which is precancerous) are seen alongside eachother, but the two are not directly connected. They are completely harmless to the skin and can be removed for cosmetic reasons. Some individuals also believe that sun spots is a skin disorder that is prevalent in the summer months only. This is not true. Even though , the body is much more exposed to sun rays in the summer, however, even a less intense sunlight can trigger sun spots, hence it is an all season skin condition. Even in the winter you should use SPF to prevent further skin damage & more sun spots.

Sun spots do not only appear in the upper body, they are occasionally found in some other less exposed areas like the groin.