Have you ever noticed small brown spots on your skin? Have you ever wondered what they were? Are they age spots or sunspots? Well, contrary to popular belief, age spots and sunspots are the same. Known by a variety of names including sunspots or liver spots, these brown spots are most often referred to as age spots because they are one of the most common signs of aging.
Melanin is a pigment that gives the skin its color. Over time, as a person ages, the production of melanin increases and form clumps causing concentrated dark spots that don’t fade away. In addition, age spots commonly appear on the face, shoulders, arms, and hands because of the high exposure to UV rays. As a result, prolonged or frequent sun exposure or tanning can lead the formation of these sunspots. Furthermore, lack of sun protection makes the skin more susceptible to developing these spots as well.
Although age spots themselves are harmless, high exposure to the sun may lead to skin cancer. According to the Skin Care Foundation, nearly five million Americans are treated for skin cancer every year. In a lifetime, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer. Also, 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with UV radiation from the sun. As Skin Cancer Awareness Month, May is a popular month for major initiative for skin cancer awareness, prevention, and detection. People are urged to stay educated and protected. If you notice any significant or questionable changes in the skin, you should visit a dermatologist or medical skin care expert.
Age spots cannot be entirely avoided; however, many measures can be taken to prevent these brown spots. One of the ways to prevent age spots is to simply cover up and limit your exposure to the sun. Avoiding times of high intensity rays or wearing broad-brimmed hats can easily protect your skin. More importantly, wearing sun block or sunscreen is a major way of protecting against UV rays when outside. In addition, using make-up and skin care products like lotions with a high SPF can also help protect your skin.
Although age spots do not need medical treatment, many people choose to remove these dark spots. Dr. Halaas offers many treatments for age spot removal such as The Elite and IPL. Lastly, Dr. Halaas offers facial skin treatments including creams, lotions, masks, and more that can reverse visible signs of aging, reduce blemishes, and improve skin tone and texture.
Are you concerned about your age spots or do you want them removed? Consult Dr. Halaas about all your skin concerns. Named one of New York City’s top surgeons and skin care professionals, Dr. Halaas has years of experience with common skin issues such as age spots.
Written by Dr. Halaas