Solar lentigenes is the medical term for those pesky spots that we often refer to as liver spots, sun spots or age spots. These spots of darker skin may appear on anyone and are a common occurrence in most individuals by the time they reach 40.
Age spots are generally flat and may range in color from deep yellow to gray, brown or black. They vary in size, but tend to be small and can be found on areas such as the face, arms, shoulders and hands – those areas most exposed to the sun. Although they may look like cancerous growths, age spots don’t need treatment as they are harmless. However, if their appearance bothers you, they may be treated. Various ingredients are available to treat age spots, but your best bet is to prevent their development in the first place by limiting your sun exposure and using sunscreen.
Who Develops Age Spots?
Age spots develop as a result of melanin production due to sun exposure. Individuals with a fair complexion are more prone to age spots, but even those with darker skin may develop them. They are often accompanied by other signs of skin damage including thinning, translucent skin; deep wrinkles; dry, rough skin and fine red veins on the cheeks, nose and ears.
Age Spots Treatment
Age spots may be treated in a number of ways:
All treatments should be supported by effective sun protection blocking against both UVA and UVB rays. Download our free sunscreen e-book to help you select an effective sunscreen.
When To See A Doctor
Although not cosmetically appealing, age spots tend to be harmless so medical attention generally isn’t required. However, if your age spots are very dark or their appearance has changed, it may be a sign of skin cancer. Have your physician check it out if the spot: