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NEWSLETTER

Age Spots (Solar Lentigo, Liver Spots)

Years spent in the sun start to mount up as you get older. Age spots (also known as liver spots or solar lentigo) are pigment accumulation caused by sun exposure. The pigment is produced in response to harm, much like a scar is produced in response to a cut. The pigment gathers in regions that have been damaged by thin skin or excessive sun exposure. Bruising that leaves blood pigment behind can also develop age spots. They are especially prevalent in adults over the age of 55. The spots are most usually found on the hands, but they can also form on the face, back, arms, feet, and shoulders, as well as other sun-exposed areas.



People with age spots known as solar lentigo



Symptoms


The emergence of black spots on the skin is the only symptom. They don't itch and aren't painful.

Diagnosis


Age spots are self-diagnosable based on their appearance. Contact your doctor if you are concerned about changes in your skin. He or she can conduct testing to rule out the presence of other diseases.



Expected Timeframe


Most age spots fade with time, but because the skin has been injured, they are unlikely to remove completely.

Scar formation is analogous to the development of age spots in that scars are typically heaped up as they occur and soften as they "remodel" over time.

Prevention

You can reduce the risk of age spots by reducing your sun exposure. Sun exposure before the age of 20 is the most important element in determining the appearance of your skin later in life. Limiting your sun exposure will help prevent age spots from expanding or deepening if you already have them.

Wear long-sleeved shirts, slacks, and a hat to protect your skin from the sun. If you'll be outside for more than a few minutes, wear sunscreen. 10am to 3pm is the best time to avoid the sun because the sun's rays are at their strongest at this time. This is the best time to stay out of the sun.


Treatment

Age spots do not require treatment. A dermatologist may be able to prescribe medicine to lighten the spots or provide another sort of treatment if you want aesthetic treatment.



When to consult a doctor?

Contact your doctor if you are concerned about changes in your skin. He can rule out cancer and other underlying medical issues.

Prognosis

Age spots aren't dangerous.


Istock image and Pexel  Image

Disclaimer:

No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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