What are age spots?
Age spots (also known as solar lentigines or liver spots) are the benign lesions that appear on areas of the body that get a lot of sun exposure. The face and the back of the hands are two of the most common areas for these brown spots. These lesions tend to increase in number with age, making them more common among middle-aged and older adults. Age spots often vary in size from .2 to 3 centimeters. You can usually identify them by their discrete borders, flatness, brown color, and irregular shape. These spots are benign and not necessarily thought to be harmful to your health.
How are age spots caused?
Age spots are caused by marked increase in the number of pigment cells in the superficial layers of skin. They commonly appear on the face, chest, shoulders, and arms because those areas of the body get the most sunshine. Ultraviolet (UV rays) accelerate the production of melanin, which gives skin its brown pigmentation. Brown spots result from overactive pigment cells and melanin being grouped in higher concentrations. Melanin tends to develop in small circles in a concentrated area.
These spots are mostly harmless and are usually addressed for cosmetic reasons. If you do notice an unusual brown spot on your skin, be sure to monitor it to make sure it doesn’t change in size or color. If it does, schedule an appointment at Dermatology & Skin Health as soon as possible.
Why do freckles form?
Like age spots, freckles also appear on the skin as a result of sun exposure. They may vary in color but are primarily darker than the surrounding skin and are uniform in color. They are also a genetic trait, meaning you likely inherited them from your parents.
Freckles tend to appear on the face, but can also occur in places that receive a lot of direct sunlight, like the shoulders and arms. They are produced or may become more pronounced when UV rays trigger the body to create more melanin to protect the skin. Freckles are harmless and are not considered a medical condition, but if you are unhappy about their appearance, Dermatology & Skin Health provides treatments to help reduce them.
How are they treated?
If you would like to remove the brown spots from your face or body, schedule a consultation at Dermatology & Skin Health. We provide non-invasive treatments to help people look and feel young again.
Our treatment options include: