What are Age Spots?
Solar Lentigines, also known as age spots, liver spots or dark spots, appear on areas of the body most frequently subjected to sun exposure, such as your hands, chest, face and shoulders. The sun's UV rays affect the melanocytes - the cells that produce melanin (skin color) - causing irregularities in skin discoloration on surface of the epidermis. Solar Lentigines are harmless and usually appear as large freckles, often brown or dark brown-colored patches. The discolored patches are not life-threatening and pose no health concerns. They're viewed as more of a nuisance than a medical condition. Age/liver spots tend to be more prevalent in fair-skinned individuals, usually middle-aged or older.
In some cases, certain health conditions, diseases and prescription medications can also cause dark spots and skin discolorations to appear. Any concerns regarding health issues or abnormal skin discolorations should be consulted with a physician.
To prevent age spots from popping up, avoid tanning beds, sunbathing and peak hours (during the midday) when the sun is strongest. Regular use of a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is recommended to protect the skin at all times. Sunscreens should be applied every four hours when the skin is exposed to the sun for long periods of time.
If age spots are bothersome or undesireable, due to their appearance and discolored skin, there are professional skincare products with specific ingredients that can help lighten and improve age spots. A common and effective product in the treatment of hyperpigmentation is Hydroquinone. Hydroquinone, administered through a dermatologist or under the supervision of an esthetician, is a potent skin-bleaching ingredient, but it can cause skin sensitivities or allergies. Alternative ingredients, often not as abrasive, are more natural, yet they can lighten the melanin deposits just as effectively. However, many alternative products take longer for lightening to take effect without Hydroquinone. Top-rated skin care companies have formulated creams, serums, toners, masks and cleansers for skin-lightening regimens. These products effectively even skin tone, leaving less unsightly visible brown patches and spots on the skin.
Natural skin lighteners act as Tyrosinase inhibitors (Tyrosinase is an enzyme responsible for stimulating melanin skin color). Ingredients, such as Licorice Root, Azelaic Acid, Kojic Acid and Daisy Flower Extract are most common in skin-lightening regimens, where the goal is to inhibit the overproduction of the enzyme that causes the skin to become discolored.
Regular consultations with an esthetician and a proper, focused, professional skin care regimen can substantially improve skin, producing a more even skin tone, over time.
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Dark spots, age spots, also known as hyperpigmentation are the unfortunate result of over exposure to the sun. Regardless of popular belief that tanning and having tan skin is healthy, in actuality, it is not. Having a tan really means your skin is telling you that it has been damaged by the sun. Its the bodys way of protecting itself. Over exposure to UVA and UVB rays eventually leads to further, more difficult to treat damage, such as liver spots, sun spots, dark patches or the technical term hyperpigmentation.Whatever you want to refer to it as, damaged skin needs to...Read more