Those small dark areas on your skin that are most exposed to the sun are known as age spots. Age spots are also called liver spots or solar lentigines. Whichever the name used to refer them, they are dark spots that usually occur due to frequent overexposure to the sun.
These spots are usually visible in people older than 50 years, and that is the reason for the name “age spots”. But even younger people can be at risk of the development of age spots due to excessive sun exposure. Not just sun exposure, but commercial tanning beds can also contribute to age spots. What really happens here is that the ultraviolet rays from the sun hasten the production of melanin. And those areas of the skin on which melanin is high can be seen as age spots.
So now to the real questions. Do these age spots pose a threat to good health? Are they cancerous? Should you be worried?
Real age spots are truly harmless and only require treatment for cosmetic purposes. But sometimes other cancerous growths can be mistaken as age spots. That can happen as age spots are also dark pigmented areas. But there is no need to be worried unless they enlarge or have irregular boundaries. Also, age spots are usually tan, black or brown. But if they have an unusual combination of colors and itch or bleed, meet a doctor ASAP. It is critical to ensure that these signs are not those of melanoma.
The best way to avoid the development of age spots is to wear sunscreen regularly. The UV rays of the sun are considered to be exceptionally harsh from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. It is best to avoid going out in the sun during this time period. Also, make sure that sunscreen is a part of your daily skincare regimen. Additionally, you can also opt for clothing with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) above 40.
Leesburg Dermatologist, Dr. Gurgen is a board-certified dermatologist who can help you with all your skin issues. Call the office of Dr. Gurgen now to get yourself an appointment as soon as possible to consult him right away.