What Causes Age Spots and How to Prevent Them

Age spots are flat, brown patches of skin that often occur in people over the age of 50. Also known as liver spots or lentigines, age spots are caused by an overexposure to UV light from the sun and often appear on the face, neck and hands. Although age spots are completely harmless, many people choose to have them removed in order to improve the overall look of their skin. A clear, even skin tone can make a person appear much younger as well as improve confidence and self-esteem. At the Dermatology Center of Indiana, we offer a number of treatments for age spots that can markedly reduce their appearance without damaging the skin itself.

What Causes Age Spots?

Age spots are the result of many years of sun exposure or an overuse of tanning beds. The spots occur after skin pigment known as melanin becomes clumped together in the upper layer of the skin called the epidermis.

How Can Age Spots Be Prevented?

Age spots can be prevented by reducing the amount of time spent in the sun. Always try to avoid the hottest midday sun, and cover up with a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck. Sun block is also an essential item for those living in hot climates and should be applied liberally according to the manufacturer’s directions.

What Treatments Are Available for Age Spots?

There are a number of different treatments for age spots that can reduce their appearance or even make them unnoticeable.

  • Topical creams – Topical bleaching creams such as hydroquinone are effective at fading age spots, and they can be used together with retinoid and steroid creams.
  • Dermabrasion – Dermabrasion is a popular skin treatment that reduces the appearance of scars, age spots and wrinkles. Dermatologists use a specialized tool to sand off the outer layer of the skin to reveal younger, clearer skin.
  • Cryotherapy – Liquid nitrogen is applied to the skin to freeze the extra pigment cluster and allow it to drop off. The skin beneath is then lighter and contains less pigment.
  • Chemical Peel – A chemical peel is an effective method of rejuvenating the skin, but many people suffer discomfort after this procedure. During a chemical peel, a dermatologist coats the skin in acid which burns off a layer of skin. Age spots, wrinkles and acne scars are far less noticeable after several treatments.
  • Intense Pulsed Light Therapy/Laser Treatment – Laser or light treatment involves shining a beam over the age spot to destroy the pigment without damaging the skin. This type of treatment is extremely effective, but it may take several months to see results.

If you would like advice on how to diminish the appearance of age spots or for any other dermatological condition, call our center to arrange a free consultation. Our trained dermatologists will assist you in choosing a treatment plan that suits you and help you achieve the clear, beautiful complexion you always dreamed of having.

Disclaim: This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.

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