Age Spots: The Right Way to Deal With It!

Age Spots are brown, grey, or black spots that usually appear on sun-exposed areas of your skin – your face, the back of your hands, shoulders, your upper back, and your forearms. Age spots can develop singly or in clusters. Luckily, they do not cause pain. Get your Dark Spots treated by an expert Dermatologist.

Age Spots: What Causes it?

Age spots appear due to the excess secretion of melanin, a pigment that gives color to your skin. The more melanin produced, the darker the spot becomes. There’s no exact reason why age spots develop. The two most common causes of age spots are:1. Ageing, 2. Sun exposure.

Who Can Get Age Spots?

Anyone can develop age spots. But, you are more likely to get them if you’re:

  • Aged 40+.
  • Fair-skinned.
  • Frequently exposed to the sun.

How do age spots develop?

The skin contains a pigment called melanin, giving your skin its color. Suntan that you get when your skin is exposed to UV light is due to melanin.

Age spots appear when this pigment melanin is produced in high quantity, such as when your skin is exposed to lots of UV rays.

If you’re above 40 years of age, you might be more vulnerable to age spots — because you have reduced amounts of melanin in the skin.

How are age spots treated?

Age spots are natural. They aren’t dangerous and don’t cause any health issues. Treatment isn’t always necessary unless you feel uncomfortable about it. But if you don’t like how they look, here are the possible ways to get rid of them. Get Dermatologist-given age spot treatment kit – Download CureSkin App.

Skin Lightening Creams:

Your Dermatologist may prescribe suitable skin lightening creams to fade the age spots gradually. Lightening creams with bleaching ingredients usually take a few months to fade age spots.

A lightening cream for correcting age spots may contain:

  • Retinoids, such as tretinoin
  • Cortisone
  • Hydroquinone

These creams lighten spots gradually over time.  The length of each procedure and the time it takes to see results varies from weeks to months. They can sometimes irritate the skin, so it is best to discuss side effects with a doctor before deciding on the right cream.

If you’re applying skin lightening creams regularly, your skin becomes more sensitive to UV damage. Hence, you will need to cover your skin from sunlight and wear sunscreen at all times during treatment. You may have to continue to wear sunscreen, even on indoor days, and cloudy days, after fading the age spots.

Medical Procedures

Some medical procedures can remove or lighten age spots. Each medical procedure carries a risk of side effects and complications. Consult your dermatologist to find out what treatment works best for your skin.

Medical procedures for age spots include:

  • Light Treatment: Light waves are passed through the skin to destroy melanin and break up the dark spots.
  • Chemical Peels: The outer layer of your skin is removed to let new skin grow in its place.
  • Dermabrasion: Smooths off the outer layers of your skin to give place for the new skin to grow in its place.
  • Cryosurgery: Age spots are frozen with liquid nitrogen.

Sunscreen should be compulsorily used after treatment to protect your healing skin from Sun damage and to prevent the reoccurrence of age spots.

Home Remedies for Age Spots

Many over-the-counter creams available in the market claim to remove age spots. However, these creams may have adverse effects on your skin if used without Dermatologist’s instructions. They may not effectively remove your age spots too.

How To Prevent Age Spots

You can certainly reduce the possibility of age spots forming. Age spots can be prevented to some extent by following a good skincare routine. Here are a few tips to prevent age spots from appearing:

  • Avoid going out on sunny days between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the sun’s rays are at their peak.
  • Apply sunscreen during the day even while you’re working indoors. Buy a broadspectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ and PA+++. 
  • Make sure to apply sunscreen for at least 30 minutes before going out.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, and even more often if you’re in the pool
  • Protect your skin by wearing sun-protective clothing such as hats, full pants, and long-sleeved shirts.

Are age spots early signs of cancer?

Age spots do not always mean skin cancer. Sometimes, they do resemble cancer symptoms. Look for symptoms like – rough painful patches of skin,  dry, scaly, pink or red patches of skin, and white, scaly marks that look like warts

If you suspect such skin abnormalities, consult a doctor immediately. If skin cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, treatment has a high success rate.

If age spots are causing you emotional distress, you can choose to lighten them with the help of the right treatment. Consult your Dermatologist as to what treatment works best for you.

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