Pigmentation, red spots and brown spots are caused by a proliferation of melanocytes or an Increased deposition of melanin in the dermis and/or epidermis.
- Un-retouched photograph; actual Derm.ca patient
- Age spots are commonly occurring brown or darker spots that appear on the skin. They are flat, can have well-defined borders, and are generally found on the sun-exposed parts of the body like the hands, face, neck, and feet. There is a common misconception that age spots cannot be erased or lightened. However, it is possible to remove them. Our experienced medical professionals at Derm.ca Dermatology & Esthetics provide solutions for decreasing the appearance of aging spots.
What Causes Age Spots?
Researchers have identified several factors like aging skin, excessive exposure to sunlight, and exposure to ultraviolet light as possible causes for age spots. When subjected to any of these factors, there is an increase in melanocytes and a boost in the accumulation of melanin in the dermis and/or epidermis. This results in these brown or darker spots that are also identified as liver spots, senile lentigo, solar lentigines, or sunspots.
What Are the Characteristics?
Some defining characteristics are as follows:
- Uniformly colored.
- Flat and generally rounded.
- Brown, gray, or black in color
- Commonly occur on the face, forearms, shoulders, neck, or upper back.
How Are They Treated?
Although treatment isn’t always necessary for age spots, people sometimes want to get rid of them for various reasons. If you’re seeking to have your age spots removed, the best course of action is to visit a dermatologist to explore your options. Some common treatment choices you may be offered can include the following:
Your doctor may prescribe bleaching creams that make your age spots fade with time. The presence of hydroquinone in these creams reduce the intensity of pigmentation, making your spots appear lighter.
Intense pulses of a range of light waves are made to pass through the skin and target the cluster of melanocytes. This breaks up the age spots, or at least lightens them initially.
Here, your doctor uses liquid nitrogen to freeze your age spots before getting rid of them.
What to Expect
At Derm.ca Dermatology & Esthetics, when you schedule an appointment with our team, your age spots are first examined by our in-house skin expert, Dr. Ken Alanen. If there’s any concern that your age spots may indicate other conditions, we ensure that a biopsy is performed to rule out possibilities like melanoma. Once the nature of your spots is established, our expert dermatologists can determine the ideal treatment plan for you, depending on the size, location, depth, and color of your age spots. Contact us today and schedule your consultation for optimal skin health.