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Age Spots: What’s Going on Here?

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

skin aging | fresno caAt some point, most adults will notice a spot or two – or many. Sometimes, it seems like the development of one spot encourages others to reveal themselves! This process continues until the dark areas on the skin become more noticeable than the positive aspects of one’s appearance. Let’s take a look at the patches we call age spots and discover how to handle this cosmetic concern.

The term “age spots” could be more than a little inaccurate. The reference came about many decades ago in an attempt to describe the unsightly changes in the skin that occur with age. Make no mistake, age spots are not the result of getting older. More often than not, they are the result of years of UV exposure and nothing more. This is evident based on the areas on which these patches appear; the hands, arms, chest, and face.

It doesn’t matter what part of the country you live in, you are exposed to UV light. This exposure can lead to unwanted changes in your skin due to the breakdown of collagen and elastin that stems from UVA radiation absorbing into the skin. Unprotected exposure to UV light also causes melanin production to increase, which ultimately promotes age spots.

Treating Age Spots
The good news is that, if and when age spots become problematic to your sense of well-being, you can do something about them. Before reaching for a cosmetic solution to this concern, it is beneficial to consult with your trusted dermatologist. A quick check of the skin can rule out if any of these unattractive dark areas of the skin could indicate skin cancer.

Most age spots are nothing more than an aesthetic problem. Men and women who want to address this issue can do so with professional care. For women, in particular, the following provides an excellent alternative to trying to mask discoloration beneath heavy makeup.

  1. Liquid nitrogen can freeze off certain dark spots.
  2. Laser therapy is a great way to gently remove hyperpigmented skin cells.
  3. Topical hydroquinone products may progressively lighten dark spots.

It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway!) that prevention is the best medicine when it comes to avoiding age spots. However, treating these tiny nuisances takes just a short time and a comfortable process. Once age spots have been erased, it is wise to employ sun-savvy habits like wearing sunscreen on a daily basis.

Call our Fresno dermatology office at (559) 435-7546 for skin-brightening treatment.

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