What Are Age Spots and Can You Get Rid of Them?

Also called sun spots, liver spots and solar lentigines, age spots appear on the skin after prolonged sun exposure. Although they are harmless, many people wish to have them removed for cosmetic reasons.

Age spots are flat and darker than the surrounding skin. They may resemble a freckle and can be brown, tan, or black. But what causes age spots, and can you get rid of them?

What Causes Age Spots?

It is not precisely known why age spots develop. However, they appear due to the excess production of melanin, which is what gives skin its color. Melanin is produced when our body is protecting our skin from the sun’s UV rays. Therefore, cumulative and long-term sun exposure causes more melanin, causing these darker spots on the skin.

People develop age spots on the areas of their skin that receive the most sun exposure. Some of the most common places for age spots to develop include:

  • Backs of the hands
  • Face
  • Shoulders
  • Upper back
  • Forearms

Who is at Risk for Developing Age Spots?

A person of any age, race, or sex can develop them. However, age spots are typically more common in people with particular risk factors. These include:

  • Having fair skin
  • Being over 40
  • History of frequent sun exposure
  • History of regular tanning bed use
  • Certain genetic conditions

Treatment Options for Age Spots

Before any procedure, you will have a consultation with our expert cosmetic dermatologists. The physician will listen to you, perform a thorough evaluation, and provide you an individualized treatment plan to address your specific needs and concerns.

Treatment options for age spots include:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hydroquinone bleaching cream
  • Retinoids
  • Liquid nitrogen
  • Chemical peel
  • Pigment lasers

All procedures carry some risk. However, complications from treatment procedures for solar lentigines are uncommon when performed by board-certified cosmetic dermatologists.

Choose St. Louis Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery

Our Dermatologist can help you explore options to rejuvenate or refine your appearance to help you look and feel your best. We can help you improve your complexion, confidence and achieve younger and healthier-looking skin!

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