Age spots are spots on the skin that have increased pigmentation due to sun exposure.
These skin spots are variable in color and range from reddish to brownish, and sometimes even black.
Where are age spots typically found?
Age spots usually appear on areas of the body that have the most sun exposure. Examples of these areas are the forehead, face, arms, hands, shoulders, and upper back.
What are common causes of age/sun spots and how are they formed?
In short, age/sun spots are the result of sun damage to the skin.
When our skin comes into contact with UV light, our body produces a dark, pigmented substance called melanin, which results in the darkening of the skin. This darkening of the skin is typically uneven and is often accompanied by an enlargement of small blood vessels, resulting in a reddish/pinkish color.
Age/Sun spots appear when our skin is over-exposed to the sun. Over-exposure to the sun results in an overproduction of melanin, resulting in these dark spots.
What are common treatments for age spots/ sun spots?
One common treatment for age/sun spots are IPL Photofacial treatments, which make use of a laser-like light designed to remove these spots. By heating up the darker areas of the skin, lasers are able to essentially dry out these sun spots, causing them to flake off of the body.
Another common treatment is cryotherapy, in which a liquid nitrogen treatment is used to disrupt these spots, causing them to scab and fall off.
Finally, chemical skin treatments, such as chemical peels as well as other topical medications, are less invasive alternatives that patients may choose. These medications may help in stimulating the skin to regenerate quicker, aiding in the improved appearance of the skin.
Be sure to make regular visits to your dermatologist for skin-spot checks.