Age Spots / Pigmentation
Age spots are flat, brown, gray, or black spots on the skin. They usually occur on sun-exposed areas of the skin. They are also known as liver spots, senile lentigo, solar lentigines, or sun spots. These spots are the result of an excess production of melanin, or skin pigment. Doctors don’t always know why these spots develop. Skin aging, sun exposure, or other forms of ultraviolet (UV) light exposure, such as tanning beds, are all possible causes. You’re most likely to develop age spots on the areas of your skin that receive the most sun exposure, including:
- your face,
- the back of your hands,
- your shoulders,
- your upper back,
- your forearms
What is the treatment for age spots and pigmentation issues?
Age spots aren’t dangerous and don’t cause any health problems. Treatment isn’t necessary. However, some people want them removed because they don’t like the way they look. There are several medical procedures that can treat age spots. Each medical procedure carries a risk of side effects and complications. Ask your dermatologist or plastic surgeon about which treatment is the most appropriate for your skin. Medical procedures include:
- laser treatment to destroy the cells that produce melanin
- chemical peels to burn the outer layer of your skin, allowing new skin to grow in its place
- dermabrasion, which sands off the outer layers of the skin so new skin can grow in its place
- cosmeceutical products that may help in removing the excess skin pigmentation.