What Causes Sun Damage?

Sun damage is caused by repeated prolonged exposure of your skin to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays or to artificial UV rays produced by tanning beds. Sunspots are usually not a risk to your health but can be removed for cosmetic reasons.

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How Can I Tell the Difference Between Melanoma and Sunspots?

When a new spot forms on your skin, that can raise a red flag that something might be wrong. How do you tell the difference between benign spots and dangerous melanoma?

  • Sun spots are flat areas of discoloration that can be very light tan to dark brown in color. They can appear on your face, neck, chest, shoulders, or the backs of your hands as early as age 40, although they may appear earlier in those who have spent a lot of time in the sun.
  • Melasma is another type of skin discoloration that can appear on the face, usually in the forehead, cheek, nose, or upper lip regions. This discoloration is light grey to tan and are more common in women. Melasma may be caused by hormonal fluctuations that naturally occur with age or during pregnancy.
  • There are many types of skin cancer, ranging from basal cell carcinoma to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. You should speak to your dermatologist if you notice dark spots appearing. Growth of a new, irregular or change to an existing sun spot’s shape, size, or color, or a lesion which bleeds easily or doesn’t heal could be skin cancer.
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How are Sunspots Treated?

Since sunspots are not harmful, they do not require treatment unless you want to remove them to have a more even, youthful skin appearance. Sunspots may be effectively treated using laser resurfacing, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, microneedling, or intense pulsed light (IPL). The best way to avoid the development of sunspots is to wear sunscreen every day.

Meet Our Dermatologists

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974 SouthPoint Road, Suite D
Belmont NC 28012

Phone: 704-755-8020

Fax: 704-755-8021


5815 Blakeney Park Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, NC 28277

Phone: 704-542-2220

Fax: 704-542-3304


309 S. Sharon Amity Road, Suite 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

Phone: 704-344-8846

Fax: 704-344-9844


7476 Waterside Loop Road #600
Denver, NC 28037

Phone: 704-601-4381

Fax: 704-822-5997

Forest City

651 Withrow Road
Forest City, NC 28043

Phone: 828-288-1204

Fax: 828-288-1205

Gastonia/937 Cox Road

937 Cox Road
Gastonia, NC 28054

Phone: 704-898-8014

Fax: 704-898-8018

Gastonia/959 Cox Road

959 Cox Road
Gastonia, NC 28054

Phone: 704-866-7576

Fax: 704-866-0106

Hickory/Tate Blvd. Building 100

315 19th St. SE, Building 100
Hickory, NC 28602

Phone: 828-325-9849

Fax: 828-325-9879

Hickory/Tate Blvd. Building 200

315 19th St. SE, Building 200
Hickory, NC 28602

Phone: 828-328-3500

Fax: 828-328-8777


13539 Reese Blvd W.
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: 704-892-4878

Fax: 704-892-7453


105 Delta Park Drive
Shelby, NC 28150

Phone: 704-484-0464

Fax: 704-482-0308

Map of Locations

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