'age spots' Category Archives

Age Spots and what to do about them

Age spots, often known as liver spots, are an all too visible reminder of the passing of time. They appear in people over 40 although younger people can be affected as well. If you have noticed several flat brown or black spots on your face, hands, arms and shoulders then these are likely to be age spots. 

Age Spots can be removed using Plasma Soft surgery

Causes of age spots

The ageing process is the main reason hence the name. But they also occur from years of exposure to direct sunlight, often as a result of sunbathing or heavy use of sunbeds. Constant exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays changes the colour of skin, turning it to a light or dark brown colour.

This is fine when you are young but as you get older your skin is less effective at regeneration as a result of sun exposure which leads to the formation of age spots. Plus your skin is thinner and more fragile as you age which increases this risk.

Genetics also plays a part. If your parents or a close family member has age spots then you will have inherited this condition.

Apart from genetic factors; if you have fair skin or are a keen sun worshipper then you are more likely to develop this condition. But statistically, anyone can get age spots.

Age spots do not determine your age: what they are is the consequences of years of exposure to the sun, i.e. tanning. So think carefully the next time you decide to bag some rays whilst on holiday.

Symptoms of age spots

These spots are flat, oval shaped objects which are brown, black or even grey in colour. They vary in size and develop in areas which are most exposed to the sun, e.g. hands. They develop on the arms, shoulders, back, chest and neck as single spots or in groups. They are diagnosed during a dermatology consultation using an instrument called a dermatoscope. There are other skin conditions which display symptoms that are very similar to age spots. These include seborrheic keratosis (benign skin growths) and moles. But an examination will rule these out.

Treatment for age spots

These are often an inevitable part of growing older but if you find these unsightly to live with then there are remedies for dealing with these spots. One of the most revolutionary ways of removing these spots is by a dermatology procedure called Plasma Soft Surgery

Can you prevent age spots?

If there is a genetic tendency then no but many cases are caused by prolonged exposure to the sun. So reduce your exposure and use a suncream with a high sun protection factor (SPF). Wear a hat and loose, long sleeved tops and trousers to protect your skin from the sun.

Think pale and interesting rather than bronzed and beautiful.

Have you noticed darker than normal patches on your face, asks London skin expert

The DermaActives hyperpigmentation programme from Elan Medical Skin Clinics

The DermaActives hyperpigmentation programme from Elan Medical Skin Clinics

During the summer months, keep an eye out for patches of darker-than-normal skin that can develop on the cheeks, forehead, upper lip, nose, chin and jaw, and sometimes the neck and forearms.

London skin expert, Sue Ibrahim from Elan Medical Skin Clinics in central London and Rayleigh, Essex explains that the condition is called melasma and it’s a common skin complaint that affects women and men.

Melasma is when brown or greyish pigmentation appears on the face, the exact cause of which is not known. But rest assured that it is not contagious, not due to an allergy and is not cancerous. It is not itchy or sore, so if you have a raised rash that is, please seek further advice immediately.

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Essex skin expert talks sun spots and how to avoid them

Age spots, sun spots, actinic keratoses, senile lentigo or solar lentigines, call them what you like!

These flat, brown, gray or black spots are areas of sun-damaged skin found predominantly on sun-exposed parts of the body. These include the backs of the hands and forearms, the face, ears and lips, the scalp in balding men and the lower legs in women, says Essex nurse consultant in dermatology, Sue Ibrahim from Elan Medical Skin Clinics in Rayleigh and central London.

They are not contagious and are usually harmless but there is a very small risk of some sun spots developing into to a form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.

Seek professional help if you’re worried

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