If your skin is exposed to sun, it may develop age spots. Also known as liver or sun spots, age spots can affect the skin of people of different ages, genders, and races. Of course, age spots are most common in people over the age of 40 who have fair skin and a history of frequent sun exposure or tanning-bed use. Using this guide, you will understand the development of these skin imperfections and learn the best options for removing your age spots.
The 411 on Age Spots
If your skin produces an excessive amount of melanin, or pigments, you will develop age spots. This higher production of melanin may occur from age, sun exposure, or exposure to UV lights from tanning beds.
In most cases, age spots will appear on the skin as flat brown, gray, or black spots. They will have the same texture as your skin. Since certain areas of the body are exposed to the sun, you may develop age spots in the following areas:
- Upper Back
- Back of Hands
Fortunately, age spots do not cause any pain, but they can be unappealing. If the spots decrease your self-esteem, consult a dermatologist for testing. Dermatologists will perform a visual inspection to determine if the imperfections are age spots. If your dermatologist is unsure, a biopsy of the skin may be necessary.
Again, age spots are not dangerous conditions that require immediate treatment. However, if you find the spots unappealing, removal is possible.
In most cases, dermatologist will recommend bleaching creams to remove the age spots. Hydroquinone is an effective bleaching cream that will fade age spots over a period of several months. Make sure the prescription hydroquinone cream offers a concentration of up to 4 percent for the best results.
If you prefer more efficient results, consider laser therapy to remove your age spots. Laser lights will decrease the melanin-producing cells without harming your skin's health. Although multiple sessions are necessary, laser light therapy will fade age spots after a few weeks.
Dermabrasion is also an option that your dermatologist may recommend. During the treatment, the surface of your skin where the age spots are located is "sanded" down. Removing the top layer of skin allows a healthier layer, which is free of age spots, to grow.
Age spots may be harmless, but they can affect the look of your skin. Using this guide and the help of your dermatologist, you can understand and remove these unsightly spots.
For more information, contact Greater Des Moines Dermatology, P.C. or a similar location.