Age Spots on Face Defined

Age spots are also known as liver or dark spots, and by the technical term solar lentigines.

Appearance

Age Spots are flat, and can be of various sizes. They can be grey, brown, or black in color. Age Spots typically appear in areas of the body that experience the most exposure to the sun. That includes areas such as the face, hands, and arms.

Causes

Age spots on the face form due to overexposure to the sun. This could be related the amount of time that the exposure involves, and how intense the sun is during the exposure.

Its also important to note that the older we become, the more cumulative exposure we’ve had to the sun during our lifetimes. This exponentially increases the likelihood that Age Spots could develop on our face, hands, arms, and so on.

Isn’t our skin naturally protected from UV rays? It is, and that’s due to something in our skin called melanin pigment. Its function is absorb sunlight that contacts the skin. However, as we become older the effectiveness of our melanin pigment decreases, which results in the formation of age spots on our skin.

Prevalence

Technically speaking, Age Spots are most common among adults who are at least 40 years old. Does that mean that there’s a zilch chance that you’ll get them if you’re less than 40 years old? It doesn’t.

In fact, adults who are younger than that age threshold can also get Age Spots. However, its important to note that its significantly less prevalent in adults who are younger than 40 years old.

Risk Factors

In terms of the risk factors, there’s disparity between how Age Spots appear, and their threat to ones health. Age Spots can actually have the appearance of cancer-like growths. However, they’re 100% harmless.

People who seem to be most likely to develop age spots are people at least 40 years old, those with fair skin, and people whose DNA map is more likely to develop them. Older people have an older system for combating UV rays, which makes them more prone to acquiring Age Spots.

Meanwhile, fair-skinned people have less melanin pigment in their skin, which makes them more vulnerable to Age Spots. Finally, a persons DNA can make them naturally more likely to suffer from Age Spots than others with a different DNA composition.

Differential Diagnosis

By process of elimination, physicians can determine when age spots on face are as such, and when they’re similar to yet different from various conditions including the following ones:

1. Lentigo Maligna: This is actually a substantially worse condition than Age Spots, since its a variety of skin cancer. Lentigo Maligna starts as a small lesion that gradually becomes darker and larger. Distinguishing characteristics include their possibly being a little raised above the skin, and having uneven coloring.

2. Moles: When we think about moles, we tend to think about small, brown spots that appear on the skin. In fact, moles can actually appear as different sizes and colors! Like age spots, moles can appear on various parts of the body, including the face. Also, while moles can be raised above the surface of the skin, they can also be flat.

3. Seborrheic Keratoses

Similar to age spots, these growths can be brown or black, and can range in size. However, a significant difference is that Seborrheic Keratoses appears like a wart, and has a wax-like appearance.

Examination/Biopsy

There are various types of tests that can determine whether or not a person is suffering from age spots on or around the face.

For example, typically a physician can diagnose facial Age Spots by simply using his or her eyes to inspect a possible sufferers skin. If a doctor isn’t 100% certain whether or not a potential Age Spot is as such, then he or she might conduct a skin biopsy.

Prevention

Medical researchers are still studying to determine the most effective ways to prevent Age Spots from forming.

However, they’ve discovered that simply reducing ones exposure to the Sun when its intensity is the greatest, or using sunscreen to lessen the effects of the Sun on ones skin-can have a tremendous influence in reducing the likelihood of Age Spots forming on ones face.

Treatment

It should be noted again that any treatment of age spots on face is strictly for cosmetic purposes, since they pose no threat to your actual health.

Here are some of the most popular types of treatments:

Cryotherapy: This process involves applying low temperatures to the spots that are contained on a persons face.

Creams: These are topical treatments that go after the melanin in the skin, breaking it down to make the age spots fade away.

Dermabrasion: This is a surgical process that basically involves sanding down the uppermost layers of ones skin, until the spots disappear.

Glycolic Peels: Glycolic acid is a colorless and odorless solid that is contained in several skincare products, including treatments for age spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation. This is greatly due to its outstanding ability to penetrate a persons skin.

Hydroquinone: This is an organic compound that’s a variety of phenols (which resemble alcohols, but aren’t technically alcohols).

Laser: This is one of the most effective methods for removing age spots, though it could require multiple sessions. That’s due to various factors, including the number of spots that are on a persons skin, and their particular location on a body. The treatment is fast, virtually painless, and permanent.

Retinols: These are Vitamin A forms that are also alcohols. Vitamin A is one of the most crucial vitamins in terms of skin health.

Skin Lightening: While this treatment of age spots on the face can include various forms, the goal is to utilize a chemical substance in order to lighten a persons skin tone.

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