Age spots, also known as lentigines, liver spots or sun spots, are dark splotches that appear on the face, hands and arms as someone ages. This condition is caused by being exposed to too much sun and the skin forms an increased pigmentation of unraised splotches.
These spots can appear as small freckles on the skin and sometimes they appear as circles up to one centimeter diameter to parts of the human body that are exposed to the sun a lot.. These spots are not dangerous but they can make one’s skin look unattractive. Age spots can be avoided from an early age by taking special care of the skin. However, one needs not to worry if they have already made an appearance since there are a number of popular treatments that help to decrease their appearance.
How Do Age Spots Form?
There are many factors that contribute to the formation of age spots and these include age, sun exposure, genetics and skin color. When one is exposed to too much sun, the skin produces extra melanin to protect itself. In turn, melanin clumps up over time to form spots on the skin. This condition is usually common in people over the age of 40 but it can also result in people of any age.
The Sunlight Can Worsen Age Spots
Try to avoid being in direct sunlight between 10am in the morning and 4pm in the evening. This is usually when the sun rays are the strongest. If you can’t avoid being outdoors during these hours, then you need to wear practical protective clothing with long sleeves and pants to minimize the surface area your skin gets exposed to the sun.
You also need to apply some sunscreen 15 minutes earlier before stepping out to protect yourself both from UVA rays and UVB rays which cause sun burns and skin aging respectively. A great product would be F&F Enhanced Suntan Reducing Cream, which keeps the sun from damaging your skin on a hot and humid day. However, if you spend too much day time in your car, then you need to install protective film in your car windows.
How To Address Age Spots
Age spots removal is usually considered as cosmetic surgery and there are several ways that they can be treated. Some of these treatments include:
- Medications: There are bleaching creams which include retinoids and hydroquinone which help to reduce the appearance of age spots.
- Dermabrasion: The affected parts of the skin are sanded off leaving scabs which are left to heal to a new spot-free layer.
- Lasers: These treatments involve destroying extra melanin formed on the skin gradually over a few weeks using lasers. This kind of treatment is considered less painful compared to Dermabrasion.
- Chemical peel: This type of treatment requires that the skin is burnt around the affected areas using acid which peels the skin leaving fresh skin without spots. This requires several visits before the effects of the procedure can be noticed.
- Freezing: Also known as crynotherapy, this procedure involves the use of liquid nitrogen to destroy extra pigment on the skin.
- Over-the-counter treatments: One can use lightening lotions found in drug stores which contain low concentrations of glycolic, deoxyarbutin, hydroquinone, or kojic acid to reduce the appearance of age spots.