Commonly associated with the getting older, age spots typically appear on the hands but can also develop elsewhere on the body, including the back and feet. They are flat, brown, benign spots on the skin that are bigger than freckles. Here, learn more about these discolorations, including what corrective skin care treatments are available to reduce their appearance and number.
A Guide to Age & Liver Spots
What causes age spots?
Despite their name, age spots result from prolonged sun exposure. Excessive time in tanning booths can also cause these spots to appear. Skin reacts to UV rays by producing extra pigment, or melanin, to protect against radiation. While the tan-producing pigment eventually fades, years of sun exposure can cause it to linger. Areas that receive the most sun exposure over a lifetime, such as the hands, feet, back, face, and arms, are the most susceptible to permanent melanin spots.
People with fair skin or a history of unprotected sun exposure are at the greatest risk.
How do I know they’re not cancerous?
“Healthy” age spots appear as flat, brown areas, unlike cancerous skin issues. If your age spots become black or raised, develop jagged or irregular borders, start to bleed, or include several different colors, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist.
Can younger people get them?
Yes. While age spots often appear on people over the age of 50 who have spent years in the sun, they can also appear on younger individuals, such as those in their 30s with histories of getting tan or sustaining sunburns.
What treatments can I try?
While topical skin lighteners have shown promise in some individuals with these spots, the most effective treatments encourage self-healing. Corrective skin care such as laser genesis sends concentrated light pulses to specific areas, destroying damaged skin and causing the body to reveal non-pigmented skin underneath. Laser genesis can also treat scars and other pigment issues such as rosacea.
Don’t let age spots impact your appearance or self-esteem. Discuss laser genesis and other corrective skin care treatments at Emerald City Medical Arts in Seattle, WA. This compassionate team of experienced experts is dedicated to offering a variety of treatments, including addiction counseling and ADHD therapy. Call (206) 281-1616 to make an appointment or learn more about corrective skin care treatments on their website. Get additional skin care tips on their Facebook.