A healthy diet, regular exercise, and periodic visits to your doctor for checkups are smart tasks that can benefit your physical and emotional well-being. However, certain conditions that affect your appearance may still arise as you age. You may already understand possibility of growing gray hair and developing fine lines and wrinkles, but you may be surprised by the development of age spots. While these spots do not develop as a result of an underlying medical condition, they can affect your appearance and self-esteem. With this guide, you will understand how age spots develop and learn the best options for correcting these skin imperfections.
A Spotty Situation
Age spots are most common in adults who are 50 years of age and older, but they are known to appear on patients of all ages. Also known as liver spots, age spots develop after years of exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. Spending time in a tanning bed can also contribute to the development of age spots.
UV light increases your skin's production of melanin, causing your skin to tan. Overexposure to the UV light will cause melanin to develop in clumps on the skin, resulting in the dark age spots.
Certain areas of your skin are exposed to the sun more than others, so age spots are more common in the following parts of your body:
- Upper Back
- Back of Hands
- Top of Feet
In most cases, age spots will be a tan, brown, or even black color. They develop flat on the skin and have different sizes ranging from a small freckle to a larger clump of multiple spots.
Thankfully, age spots are not life-threatening and do not cause you any pain. Since they do affect your appearance and confidence, you may want to remove the age spots and restore your skin back to a more appealing state.
Before undergoing any treatment for your age spots, you should consult your doctor. Your doctor will want to complete a visual exam on your skin to make sure the spots are not actually moles or cancerous growths. If there is any doubt, a biopsy may be necessary.
Lentigo maligna is a type of cancer that develops on areas of the skin that are exposed to excessive amounts of the sun. These lesions are tan, brown, or black and have uneven borders. Since this look is similar to the look of age spots, Lentigo maligna is often overlooked and misdiagnosed.
If your doctor determines the imperfections on your skin are age spots, treatment can begin. Bleaching creams are effective in most cases, since they fade the dark discoloration on the skin over a period of a few months.
When purchasing non-prescription bleaching agent, opt for a hydroquinone cream that has a concentration of at least 2 percent for the most effective treatment of your age spots. If your dermatologist prescribes a hydroquinone cream, concentration levels should be at least 4 percent.
Laser therapy is another option to consider if you want to remove your age spots in a more efficient manner. During this treatment, your dermatologist will direct a laser light onto the damaged areas of your skin. The light destroys the skin cells that are responsible for producing the melanin. Multiple treatments are necessary to remove the age spots, but the procedure is effective for most people.
Age spots are not serious medical conditions, but they can affect your overall appearance. Using this guide and the help of your dermatologist, you will understand the development of these spots and learn how to diagnose and correct these skin imperfections. Try clicking here to learn more.