Age spots are flat, dark, small areas on the skin that appear on areas exposed to the sun, such as the hands, arms, face, and shoulders. They are also called liver spots, sunspots, and solar lentigines. Age spots are common in people older than 50 years; also, young people can get them if they spend most of their time in the sun. Age spots might look like cancerous growths. Fort Worth age spots treatment centers provide skin-rejuvenation treatments to achieve an even skin tone.
Diagnosing age spots include:
Visual inspection. The doctor can diagnose age spots by looking at your skin. It is important to differentiate age spots from other skin disorders because the treatment varies and using the wrong procedure can delay other therapies.
Skin biopsy. The doctor can do some tests, including removing a sample of the skin for lab examination. This might help differentiate age spots from other conditions like lentigo maligna, a type of skin cancer. Skin biopsy is normally done in a doctor’s office using anesthesia.
How to treat age spots
- Prescription medicine
Your doctor can prescribe bleaching creams to remove age spots naturally. These normally contain hydroquinone, with retinoids such as tretinoin. Bleaching creams normally take a few months to get rid of age spots. Tretinoin and bleaching creams make the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet damage. You must wear sunscreen at all times during treatment, and wear it even on cloudy days and after the spots have faded.
- Medical procedures
There are various medical procedures which can reduce or remove age spots. Each procedure has a risk of side effects and complications. Ask your plastic surgeon or dermatologist about the treatment that is most appropriate for your skin. Medical procedures that help age spots fade away include chemical peels that remove the outer layer of your skin to grow a new one, dermabrasion that smooths the outer layer for new skin to grow in place, and cryosurgery that freezes age spots with liquid nitrogen.
- Chemical peel
This treatment technique involves applying a chemical solution to the skin to eliminate top layers. Smoother, new skin grows to take its place. Some possible side effects include infection, scarring, darkening, or lightening of skin color. You might need few treatments before you notice any change.
- Laser treatment
Your doctor might use narrow light beams to remove the cells causing your age spots. You will require more than one treatment to see the results. Lasers can darken your spots or crust your skin during the first treatment, but these particular side effects go away.
- Home treatments
There are a variety of over-the-counter creams which are marketed for fading age spots. These creams are not as strong as prescription creams. They can’t eliminate excessive skin pigmentation. If you decide to use over-the-counter cream, choose the one that has glycolic acid, deoxyarbutin, hydroquinone, and hydroxy acid. Cosmetics do not primarily remove age spots; instead, it covers them. Ask your plastic surgeon or dermatologist to recommend brands which conceal age spots effectively.
Age spots are harmless skin changes, and they don’t cause any pain. In rare cases, age spots can make it difficult to diagnose skin cancer. The appearance of age spots might cause emotional distress for several people. You can reduce or remove them with treatment. Communicate with your dermatologist or healthcare provider about the best treatment method for you.