Age spots are small, flat dark areas on the skin. They vary in size and usually appear on areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, shoulders and arms. Age spots are also called sunspots, liver spots and solar lentigines.
Age spots can look like cancerous growths. True age spots don't need treatment, but they are a sign the skin has received a lot of sun exposure and are an attempt by your skin to protect itself from more sun damage. You can help prevent age spots by regularly using sunscreen and avoiding the sun.
Age spots may affect people of all skin types, but they're more common in adults with light skin. Unlike freckles, which are common in children and fade with no sun exposure, age spots don't fade.
Age spots don't require medical care. Have your doctor look at spots that are black or have changed in appearance. These changes can be signs of melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer.
It's best to have any new skin changes evaluated by a doctor, especially if a spot:
Age spots are caused by overactive pigment cells. Ultraviolet (UV) light speeds up the production of melanin, a natural pigment that gives skin its color. On skin that has had years of sun exposure, age spots appear when melanin becomes clumped or is produced in high concentrations.
Use of commercial tanning lamps and beds also can cause age spots.
To help avoid age spots and new spots after treatment, follow these tips for limiting your sun exposure:
If you are tired of looking older or want the spots removed, schedule a laser consultation and restore your skin to its natural beauty. Our Cosmetic Consultation Reimbursement policy is offered to all patients. Schedule an office visit to discuss your concerns and skincare goals with Dr. Robinson and the office visit cost will be applied to the future cost for the "consulted procedure". The "consulted procedure" must be completed within 30 days of your consult visit.