What we commonly refer to as “age spots” or “liver spots” are actually, in medical terms, solar lentigines, spots that can appear even on individuals under the age of forty. These spots develop in various sizes and are usually flat black, brown, or gray spots. Rather than a symptom of age, these spots are attributed to the UV exposure that the skin receives through the years. This is evident in the areas on which age spots are typically found, such as the face, shoulder, arms, and hands.
Age spots are likely to occur due to a high concentration of melanin in a certain area. As melanocyte cells clump together, spots are formed. The production of melanin can increase both with age and with sun exposure.
There is no cause for alarm at the development of true age spots. However, new growths on the skin should be checked by our Arlington dermatologist. Individuals of all ages are encouraged to visit our office on an annual basis for skin cancer screening, and to perform skin examinations each month at home. Becoming familiar with moles and other spots on the skin, as well as the symptoms of skin cancer, allows you to quickly identify suspicious growths and visit our dermatologist to rule out potential health risks.
Changes in the skin that should be evaluated by our doctor include:
- Rapid changes in size
- Irregularity along the border
- Darkly pigmented spots
- Multiple colors within one spot
- Bleeding, redness, tenderness, or itching
Age spots can be quite a cosmetic concern. Dr. Neal talks with patients about how to protect skin from harmful UV rays, and provides several treatment options for the reduction in hyperpigmentation. Newly formed age spots may respond well to chemical peel treatment, which removes dead, damaged skin cells from the surface in a gentle manner, requiring no down time. Patients of Washington Dermatology Consultants may also rediscover their most beautiful skin with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments or laser treatments.
Your skin does not have to suffer the effects of age and environmental factors. Reverse signs of damage, including age spots, with personalized treatment from our Arlington dermatologist. Contact our office today for your consultation with Dr. Kenneth Neal.