If dark-colored spots have appeared on your skin as years pass by, you’re far from alone.
The flat, dark areas known as age spots, or liver spots, are part of aging for many people.
Age spots aren’t dangerous, but they can be bothersome from a personal appearance standpoint. And in some cases, a dark spot on your skin is actually something serious.
At Northstar Dermatology in North Richland Hills, Texas, our expert team of board-certified dermatologists offers effective lightening treatments to minimize or do away with age spots. They can also help you stave off more similar damage in the future.
Take a few minutes to learn about age spots, including ways to prevent or reduce them.
Why you have age spots
Age spots crop up when a clump of melanin cells, which give your skin its color, darken faster than the rest of your skin.
While anyone can develop them, exposure to UV light from the sun or tanning beds and having fair skin increase your risk. And because that exposure can be cumulative, age spots tend to crop up from age 40 on.
How to prevent age spots
If you’re concerned about developing age spots, you can take steps to prevent them. Protect your skin from UV rays, for example, by wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher anytime you go outdoors.
Other helpful preventive steps include:
- Avoiding the sun between 10am and 2pm
- Avoiding tanning beds
- Reapplying sunscreen every two hours if you’re outdoors or after perspiring
- Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and clothing that covers your arms and legs
- Wearing an SPF lip balm
Treatment for age spots
If you’re bothered by your existing age spots, our team at Northstar Dermatology offers several cosmetic treatments, including:
- Chemical peels, which use a chemical solution to do away with your skin’s top layer
- Dermabrasion, which uses a special brush to gently sand away your skin’s top layer
- Laser treatment, which uses targeted light energy to break down the brown pigment
- Topical medications, such as a prescription whitening cream that you apply daily at home
It can be fairly easy to mistake an age spot for a cancerous mole, and if so, you don’t want to delay treatment. For that reason, make sure you come into our office for an exam if the spot on your skin:
- Changes rapidly
- Has an unusual shape or jagged edges
- Seems larger than normal