18 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Age Spots (ANSWERED!)
Ever wondered what are those brown spots that you see on your face?
Have you noticed new patches of pigmentation on the face and not sure what they are?
Do you think you have age spots but are not sure and want to know more?
If you have seen any new spots or patches of pigmentation on your face in recent times, it is natural for hundreds of questions to go through your head. If you ever wondered at how do you get age spots, at what age you could get age spots, how these are different from symptoms of skin cancer, why you get these age spots, how you can avoid getting them and other queries too, we are here to answer them all.
So read on to find the answers to 18 of the most frequently asked questions about age spots.
1. What are age spots?
2. What do age spots look like?
Seeing new spots appearing on your skin can be really scary and inconvenient, especially in those cases when it appears on your face. While age spots can also show up earlier, they are most commonly seen once you cross your 40s and 50s. Around this time, you may start noticing more and more spots appearing on different parts of your body, including your face.
However, it is very important to remember that if you notice any changes in your age spots, such as if they change in shape, if you notice a change in colour or even if you see a change in how they feel when you touch them, you should bring this to the notice of your doctor immediately.
3. What causes age spots on skin?
A very common question often is – “Why do we get age spots?”
4. What causes brown age spots?
Regular exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays causes your skin to produce more melanin, which leads to some parts of your skin becoming more pigmented than the rest. As a result, you may notice the appearance of brown age spots.
5. At what age do you get age spots?
Even though these spots are termed as age spots, it does not mean that they will only appear when you are older or have ‘aged.’
6. Can age spots be raised?
If you have ever wondered can age spots be raised, the answer is yes. Instead of having flat and oval shaped age spots, you can also have raised age spots. Here are a few types of age spots that are raised:
7. Do age spots grow?
When you notice age spots on your skin, they almost always remain the same size as when they first appeared. If you do notice them changing in size and growing, it is important to get it checked by your doctor to rule out any health complications. This will mainly help to rule out any presence of pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions.
It is possible that you may feel your age spots are growing in size, and there can be a few explanations for this, as follows:
8. Can we get age spots on other parts of the body other than the face and hands?
Yes, age spots do not only appear on your face or hands, but can appear on any part of the body that is exposed to the harmful rays of the sun. The most common parts of the body where you may notice the appearance of age spots are the face, the back of the hands, upper arms, neck, shoulders, upper back, legs (if you regularly wear shorts) and so on.
9. Is it harder to remove age spots on certain parts of the body?
Age spots are mostly visible on parts of the skin that are exposed to the sun. However, while you may be able to remove some of the age spots, it can be a little more difficult to remove the ones that are present on the skin which is more exposed to the sun than those parts of the body that are mainly covered.
The reason behind this is that, when you start treatment for your age spots, you should ideally keep those areas away from the sun. Otherwise, even though you may be using some or the other form of treatment, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can continue damaging your skin.
10. What is the difference between age spots and skin cancer?
Regular exposure to the sun’s damaging rays can result in spots on your skin known as age spots, also knowns as liver spots (even though these are not a result of any problems with your liver). However, a lot of people are worried that this sudden appearance of discoloured spots on the skin could also be a sign of skin cancer.
Even though they may look very similar and may make you worried, here are a few ways in which you can spot the difference between age spots and signs of skin cancer:
To know whether or not the spots on your skin
are signs of skin cancer, take the ABC test:
Age spots do not tend to change in size, shape, texture, colour or overall appearance but will remain the same throughout, as the time they first appeared. In case of a cancerous or melanoma spot, you might notice certain changes in your spots or moles, such as changes in colour, shape, texture and so on. Some of these could also be crusty age spots, or you may notice bleeding or they may itch a lot. If you notice anything like this, make sure to get it tested immediately, to rule out any cancerous concerns or to get the required medical attention as needed.
11. How are age spots different from liver spots?
Age and liver spots are actually two different names given to the same spots that you may see on your skin. Even though they are known as age spots or liver spots, they really do not have anything to do with ageing, or with that particular organ of your body after which it is nicknamed.
If you are wondering whether or not age spots and liver spots are different, the answer is no, there is no difference between age spots or liver spots.
12. What are the different treatments for age spots?
Age spots are not dangerous and will not lead to any health issues, because of which you don’t really need any medical treatment for them. However, the main reason why you may want to get these treated and removed is because they do not always look good on the skin.
If you are looking for treatment of age spots, here are a few different types of procedures that you can try to reduce or remove the appearance of age spots from your skin.
a. Prescription medications:
b. Medical treatment options:
If you want some steps that can help in treating age spots, there are various types of medical procedures available that can help to reduce and remove your age spots. Do remember that it is very important that you always wear the right type of sunscreen while you try out any of the following medical procedures, because your skin will become extra sensitive to the damaging ultra violet rays of the sun.
c. Treatment options at home:
When you are looking at how to treat age spots, a lot of treatment options are available that you can easily try out at home that will help to reduce and gradually remove your age spots.
It is also best to speak to your doctor to understand what works best for age spots.
13. Is it safe to bleach age spots?
Age spots appear due to regular exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and protecting your skin against the same will help to reduce the appearance of these in the future. However, if you already have age spots, just using sunscreen may not help to reduce or lighten them.
There are a lot of bleaching creams that are available in the market to help lighten your age spots. But is it safe to use these?
Over the counter bleaching kits are generally considered safe to use on your age spots so that you can reduce their appearance. However, here are a few things you should keep in mind before you use the same:
14. Is it safe to use concealer to cover age spots?
A lot of people who have age spots especially on the face look for makeup products that can help in covering age spots.
Using makeup or a concealer will not help to remove or reduce your age spots, but it will only cover or hide them temporarily. If you are interested in using makeup to cover age spots, you can speak to your dermatologist to understand which brands will be the best for you without causing any harm to your skin.
15. Other than applying sunscreen, how else can I avoid getting age spots?
Of course the first step in avoiding getting age spots is to wear a sun protection cream every day, so that your skin is protected from the harmful ultra violet rays of the sun. Regular exposure to the sun’s rays is the most common cause of age spots. When wearing a sunscreen, make sure it has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 or more, and has both UVA and UVB protection.
Other than applying sunscreen, here are a few other ways in which you can prevent age spots from appearing on your skin.
16. What is the best skincare regimen for preventing age spots?
17. What vitamins and supplements should I take to prevent age spots?
If you already have age spots, using vitamins and supplements may help to reduce the same, and also prevent new age spots from appearing.
18. How do I treat age spots that itch?
In most of the cases, age spots do not itch. However, if you are feeling discomfort because of your age spots and are suffering from itchy age spots, it is possible to get relief.
19. Can age spots come back?
If you are using a lightening agent to reduce the appearance of your age spots, discontinuing the use of the same can cause the age spots to come back.
20. At what age do age spots become a problem?
Even though age spots are usually harmless spots on your skin, they can be more of a problem as you age, especially once you hit your 40s or 50s. Also, these are more common in women than in men and may mostly be found on the face and other very visible parts of the body, which can become more of a cosmetic inconvenience than a health issue.
To be safe, it is best to always get your spots checked by your doctor.