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Concerned about Age Spots?

Our modern treatments for a age spots are designed to fade them.

What is an Age Spots?

Whether they appear on the back of your hands, face, or body, age spots are a prominent sign of ageing. They are caused more by prolonged sun exposure than skin ageing alone and can be tricky to conceal. Read on to discover what causes these marks, how they appear on different skin tones, and the best treatments to help them fade. Plus, important information on distinguishing benign marks from potentially dangerous skin cancer lesions.

Age spots, also known as liver spots or solar lentigines, are flat, darkened areas of skin ranging from brown to black. They typically appear on sun-exposed areas such as the backs of the hands, face, and shoulders, and are closely associated with sun damage. Although the terms ‘age spot’ and ‘sunspots’ are often used interchangeably, age spots specifically refer to marks caused by prolonged sun exposure over the years, making them more prevalent in individuals over 50.

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What Causes Age Spots?

Age spots are primarily caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. Accumulated UV exposure can damage skin cells, triggering pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) to produce more pigment. Over time, this melanin may clump together, forming concentrated spots of pigmentation. UV exposure also generates free radicals in your skin, affecting its ability to repair itself and contributing to age spots.

Hormonal changes throughout life, such as during pregnancy, can increase the likelihood of uneven pigmentation, including age spots or melasma. Genetics also play a role, as some individuals are more prone to developing age spots as they age.

Remember, for effective and safe treatment, always consult with a qualified practitioner to determine the best approach for your specific needs.

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How to Tell the Difference Between Age Spots and Cancerous Lesions?

While age spots are benign, it is crucial to differentiate them from potentially cancerous lesions. Common skin cancers, such as melanoma and basal or squamous cell carcinomas, often manifest as irregularly shaped and asymmetrical lesions, unlike the more regular appearance of age spots. Cancerous lesions may also increase in size over time and feature varied colours within them. If you notice any suspicious changes in your skin, it’s important to seek medical advice.

How to Get Rid of Age Spots

There are various treatments to reduce the appearance of age spots, depending on their size, location, and stubbornness:

  • Peels: Chemical peels can reduce age spots by removing the top layer of damaged skin with uneven pigmentation. Even superficial peels can yield good results for mild age spots while improving overall skin smoothness.
  • Laser Therapy: Lasers target unwanted pigmentation by using controlled wavelengths of light to heat and break down pigment. Ablative lasers resurface the skin, while fractional devices reduce downtime by leaving intact skin between micro-channels, allowing faster healing.
  • RF Microneedling: Combining radiofrequency (RF) and microneedling, this treatment tightens the skin and boosts collagen production, effectively targeting age spots with minimal downtime.
  • IPL: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) devices use broad-spectrum light pulses to break down pigment, which the body then removes.
  • Cryotherapy: For small, isolated age spots, liquid nitrogen can freeze the spot, causing it to fall off over time.
  • Microskin Grafting: This surgical option, involving the removal of the age spot and grafting healthy skin from elsewhere, is best for stubborn spots that don’t respond to other treatments.
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