Age spots form when the skin produces an excess amount of pigment called melanin. This pigment is what gives your skin its normal color. The spots are also called liver spots and sunspots and are usually smooth, brown or black spots on the areas of the skin that are most often exposed to direct sunlight such as face, shoulders and forearms. They can also form when the skin is exposed to artificial tanning such as heat lamps and tanning beds. Age spots may develop in people of any age if they spend a lot of time in the sun. Men and women of any skin color can develop them.
Other than the elderly, some people are more at risk than others for developing age spots, including people with very fair skin, people who frequently use tanning beds and people who have outdoor jobs, especially at the beach or near a swimming pool such as lifeguards or waiters.
During a consultation with our specialist, your age spots can be evaluated. These spots are typically safe, with the greatest problem being their appearance. Our specialist may ask you when you first noticed the age spots and if they developed gradually or quickly.
There are multiple ways to treat age spots so that the skin is clear again. Laser treatments can go deep into the skin and stop the cells that produce the pigment that causes age spots. The best treatment for you will depend on a variety of factors and will ultimately be determined during a consultation at our office.
During and after any treatment, you will need to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher on the treated area because your skin will be very sensitive to ultraviolet rays. Wearing sunscreen is a good way to prevent age spots that form from exposure to the sun. It is also recommended to wear clothing including a hat that protects your arms, shoulders and face from direct sunlight.
In most cases, age spots are harmless. On rare occasions, they can interfere with a diagnosis of skin cancer. After the team at YouthFill MD assesses your spots, a treatment may be recommended for your individual condition. Sunspots can make you look older than your years because they are usually associated with age. This is one reason why many people want to have them removed.