Age spots are a common skin condition that usually affect older people. They’re common in men and women both, and although they tend to crop up more frequently after the age of fifty, they can actually happen at almost any time. There are a few different causes of age spots as well as different symptoms you may face if you find yourself dealing with them. Regardless of how you experience age spots, there are also plenty of options you have when it comes to trying to get rid of them.
What are age spots and what causes them?
If you notice age spots for the first time, you may be alarmed. Some people who get them and have never had them before may worry that they’re cancerous, but age spots themselves are not cancerous. It’s important, however, to get any skin condition that you’ve never experienced before checked out by your doctor. This way, you can make sure that you aren’t dealing with something more concerning.
Actual age spots usually look like small freckles or darker spots on your skin. They occur often on parts of the skin that have been frequently exposed to the sun throughout your life. They may also appear in other areas, but they’re most common on your face, shoulders, and arms. Staying out of direct sunlight, avoiding sunburns, and using sunscreen are all good ways to avoid getting age spots later in life.
Age spots also usually occur in clusters, so it’s uncommon to have just one without several others in the same location. If you have had age spots before and get more in the same area, this is usually not a cause for concern. If you notice that some of the spots are getting larger or have turned a strange color, be sure to speak to your doctor about this.
What are some of the most common treatments for age spots?
There are several types of treatments that you may be able to undergo to help deal with your age spots. While many people choose to just let their age spots happen as they get older, there are also many who opt for one or more of these treatment options. Age spots are harmless but removing them or otherwise helping to deal with them can improve your overall self-esteem and self-image and may make your skin healthier in the long run, too.
Bleaching creams: Some prescription bleaching creams can fade age spots over time. These may be given by themselves or with a mild steroid cream to help improve the condition of your skin.
Laser therapy: A few sessions of laser treatment can help reduce the color and appearance of age spots. However, discoloration can also be a side effect of this treatment, so it may be worthwhile to take your time and consider it before you dive into this option.
Cryotherapy: With this method, the age spots will be frozen off with liquid nitrogen. This is best for small areas and can’t really be done well in larger affected areas.