Age Spots? Why Me?


Skin, spot, face.

Most Dark Spots caused by the sun are not dangerous, but a dermatologist can help you stay on top of changing patterns that can signal problems.  As we age, they seem to pop up more and more and can be annoying.  Chemical peels can help by encouraging cell turnover but sometimes being a little more aggressive does the trick.

The Fix

Zap ’em. Brown spots are often harmless solar lentigines, also known as age spots. About 14 percent of middle-aged people have them, notes a study in the journal PLOS One. These crop up more as you age, inplaces that see the most UV rays, such as your face, hands and forearms. Use a skin-lightening cream, or a dermatologist can zap the spots with liquid nitrogen or a laser.

Freezse them off! Seborrheic keratoses are genetic wart-like growths that are anywhere from yellow to brown to black in color. Although they are harmless, they can sometimes be quite scary looking. It is encouraged for most patients to leave the spots alone, but a dermatologist can freeze them for you.

Laser away. Red bumps are often cherry angiomas—clusters of dilated blood vessels. They’re benign, but if you hate how they look, a doctor can erase them with a laser or shave them off with a scalpel.

Act Now.  If any skin spot concerns you. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms for basal and squamous cell cancers include an unusual growth that doesn’t heal. Signs of melanoma include a new spot, or one that changes size, shape or color. Your dermatologist can help track dangerous changes.

Source:  AARP Magazine August/ September 2015

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