As we age our skin goes through many changes, and age spots are just one of them. Most common in seniors, these brown or tan spots mostly form on the hands, arms, and face, but can also occur on people who spend a lot of time in the sun. They are very common, not dangerous, and there are a few ways to treat them.
The areas where age spots are most likely to appear are the ones most often exposed to the sun. This includes hands, face, arms, shoulders, and in some cases feet. For this reason they are also called sun spots or solar lentigines, and have also been referred to as liver spots. In some skin tones they may appear as gray or even black, but they are still harmless regardless of color or size. Age spots occur when the body creates too much of the pigment called melanin that colors skin, which can be caused by both the sun and activities such as indoor tanning - wherever UV exposure occurs. Having a fair skin tone may make someone more susceptible to developing sun spots.
The easiest way to manage age spots is to stay out of the sun or use sunscreen every day. Many moisturizers are now including SPF protection in their products, which can make it easy by not adding any steps to your normal routine. Skipping the tanning beds is also a good proactive decision. A spray tan or at-home bronzing product may be used instead. Treating them after they appear will be harder than avoiding them in the first place, but there are several options available.
A doctor or dermatologist may prescribe a cream, a light treatment, chemical peel, dermabrasion, or even cryosurgery. The cream is easily applied at home after retrieving the prescription, but may take weeks to months. Most of these creams are a bleaching product that fade and remove the spots by bleaching out the color. It is necessary to wear sunscreen all the time when using this cream as it will make the rest of your skin more sensitive to UV. A light treatment can also be tried. This treatment sends light rays through the skin in an attempt to get rid of the melanin that creates the spots.
Chemical Peels And Creams
Chemical peels are more invasive and damaging as they use chemicals to burn off the outer layer of skin, taking the age spots with it. This will not prevent you from getting more age spots so this procedure may need to be done more then once. Dermabrasion has the same goals as a chemical peel but removes that layer of skin with friction, usually with a cream that is rough and will slough off the skin. You must be sure to moisturize and care for your skin while it regrows that layer no matter which option you choose. Cryosurgery is also a method that uses freezing to remove the spots.
Over-the-counter creams will not work as well as a prescription strength cream, but there is a wide range of makeup and cosmetic choices that can be purchased at most stores. While they won’t get rid of the age spots, there are some great coverages available that may cover them for you. This is a non-invasive method but makeup must be applied every day you wish to cover them, so it may become time consuming.
Age spots are simply parts of the skin that have developed more color than the other areas. They are not harmful and do not need to be immediately addressed, but there are many ways to prevent and treat them.
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Kassandra Foreman has been writing freelance for five years now and enjoys learning about new things to write about. When not writing she teaches yoga and meditation with a focus on health and fitness.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.