Aging Spots
What is age spots?

Age spots, also known as solar lentigines or liver spots, are small, flat discoloration of the skin area that is grey or brown. Age spots are more commonly seen on the sun exposed skin of face, neck, hands and chest. Age spots are not caused by ageing, rather by sun damage. They are more common in fairer skin individuals. Many treatments are available at our clinic to get rid of them.

What are the causes of age spots?

Age spots occur mainly due to unprotected sun exposure over many years. When the skin is exposed to sunlight, there is an overproduction of melanin leading to age spots. These are usually harmless and don’t require any treatment apart from cosmetic reasons. However, if there is some sudden change in colour or size of any of these, it needs to be investigated for skin cancer.

Which age group is usually affected?

Age spots are more common in older population as these are a result of cumulative sun damage over many years. They can also occur in younger individuals who are more frequently out in the sun and don’t use any sun protection.

Things to Know

Age spots can appear in both males and females; there is no gender predilection.
People who are more often outdoors and do not use sun protective measures are more likely to develop age spots.
Yes, sometimes age spots can be hereditary and can develop at an early age.
Local application of medications such as hydroquinone and tretinoin can be used to treat age spots. These medicines help to fade away the spots to some extent after use for several months; they can be used in combination or alone.
Medications help to fade the spots but not remove these completely. Other options to treat age spots are

  • Laser and intense pulsed light therapy:- In this high intensity laser is used to treat age spots.
  • Cryotherapy:- In this, spots are frozen by cold liquid nitrogen which dries and sheds the top layer of affected skin.
  • Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion:- It is an non-invasive treatment which helps in exfoliating the top layers of skin and thus removing the age spots gradually
  • Chemical peels :- In this treatment, a chemical solution is used which peels off the pigment containing top skin layers.
  • Avoid going out in the sun if not required
  • Take precautions like sunscreen, umbrella, and shades before going out in the sun.
The age spots would come back only if the affected person does not take sun protection measures like avoiding mid day sun, using sunscreen regularly, using long sleeved clothes and hat when outdoors during day time.
Dr Shail Gupta, MD (renowned dermatologist) with almost 2 decades of experience in the field of dermatology says that age spots can be prevented by using sun protection. Those who have already got age spots should also use adequate sun protection to prevent new spots and also for prevention of cancerous changes in these spots. Age spots can be treated but prevention is the best strategy.
Please call at the given numbers and make an appointment with our dermatologist. They will assess your skin, discuss about the various options of treatment with you and then suggest the best possible option suited to you.

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