What’s that spot? With guest expert Holly Copping

Freckles pretty girlFish and chips on the beach, hours of glorious sunshine, family barbecues, endless days and balmy evenings that seem to stretch on forever… There’s a lot to love about the Australian summer.

The only catch? Sun damaged skin.

From freckles to sun spots, UV exposure can cause many different types of skin pigmentation. A dermatologist should be your first point of call for diagnosing unsightly blemishes, but thankfully many of them can be easily treated with laser therapy or chemical peels.


If you’ve got fair skin, chances are these little splotches are the bane of your existence. The good news? If you slip, slop and slap you’ll be able to stop them in their tracks, and they will also generally fade with age.

Sun spots

Also known as ‘solar lentigines’, you’d be forgiven for mistaking these for ordinary freckles. These can spring up on your hands and face when you least expect them, especially if you’ve experienced bad sun burn in the past.


If you’re pregnant or on the pill, you might notice these symmetrical patches appearing on your forehead or cheeks. They’re usually caused by hormones, especially if you’ve got darker skin, and can grow darker if you spend too much time in the sun.

Poikiloderma of Civatte

This one sounds like a bit of a mouthful, and it’s definitely not as straightforward as your other spots and splotches. This mottled, reddish-purple stain is actually a combination of broken capillaries and pigmentation, and it’s caused by chronic sun exposure, hormonal changes and genetics.

About the author

Holly Copping is Director of the Territory Laser Clinic in Darwin, and is the Northern Territory’s first fully qualified Dermal Therapist. After studying for two years she graduated with an Advanced Diploma of Cosmetic Dermal Science through AACDS (Australasian Academy of Cosmetic Dermal Science) in Perth. Holly specialises in the latest laser technology, and new concepts in skin care.

Holly Copping


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