Are you a former sun worshiper?
If so, those long days at the beach could be catching up with you and showing up as dark spots on your face, chest, hands, and back. Sun spots–you may know them as as liver spots, age spots, and solar lentigines–are flat brown spots on the skin caused by excessive exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. While most dark spots are harmless, changes in a spot’s color or appearance can be a sign of melanoma or other types of skin cancers.
You should always immediately seek medical diagnosis and treatment.
And there was a time when you had only 2 choices for medical care: planning a doctor’s appointment or waiting a crowded emergency room. FastMed provides local, immediate medical care that is prompt, personal, and available when you need it.
Dark Spots: When Should I Worry?
Many of us will develop dark spots on our face as we age. The best way to protect yourself from further sun damage is to apply SPF lotion daily and avoid spending long hours in the sun. Though dark spots can be harmless, you should see a medical professional if you notice any changes in the spots.
Actinic keratosis* (AK): A form of sun damage that causes scaly red lesions on the skin and often leads to squamous cell carcinoma.
Squamous cell carcinoma: A common type of skin cancer that causes raised dark spots on your face, neck, arms, legs, and other parts of the body that are frequently exposed to the sun.
Basal cell carcinoma*: The most common form of skin cancer in the United States, basal cell carcinoma starts as a dark spot on your face that usually develops into white or pink lesions. Luckily, basal cell carcinoma is the most treatable form of skin cancer and is rarely fatal.
Melanoma*: Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and can quickly spread to your lymph nodes, bones, lungs, liver, brain, and other organs. Because melanoma often develops from moles, it is important to check moles for changes in color, symmetry, and size.
If you are concerned with a dark spot on your skin and would like to have it examined by a professional, FastMed Urgent Care is available 7 days a week with no appointment needed. Need us on a Saturday? We’re here. Need us after work? We’re here. Need us on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or Martin Luther King Jr. Day? You guessed it: we’re here. Find a FastMed Urgent Care near you!