Sun Spots on skin, called solar lentigines, are due to sun exposure.
They are flat, brown spots that show up on the parts of your skin that have been exposed to the sun. Once you start getting sun spots on your skin, expect them to darken and increase in number with every UV ray that hits your skin.
Any UV ray from the sun will darken your sun spots. Yes, that means that even the sun that comes through windows, that bounces off cement or water or that passes through clouds will worsen your sun spots.
What about tanning beds, will tanning beds give you sun spots?
Can you outwit the process and avoid sun spots by tanning in a tanning bed with unnatural UV light instead of in the sun with natural UV light?
No, tanning-bed UV rays will cause sun spots on skin, too. In fact, tanning-bed “freckles” as they are called, are often more numerous on the skin than the sunspot sun freckles from natural UV light. In my opinion, they also have a really unnatural look. This means that when I do a skin exam, I can usually tell if my patient has had tanning-bed exposure. Think of the cause and effect this way:
UV Ray exposure + Your Skin = Sun Spots!
Almost everyone will eventually get sun spots on their skin from sun exposure. Some people start getting them earlier in life. These are usually people with really fair skin. If your skin is prone to developing sun spots, they can start showing up as early as your 20s, though most people start really noticing them in their 30s and 40s.
What are the first parts of your skin that get sun spots?
Your first sun spots often show up on the sides of your face, the sides of your neck, the ‘V’ of your chest, and the back of your hands.