Age spots, alternatively referred to as brown spots, liver spots, and solar lentigines, are a prevalent indication of the aging process. These flat, oval pigmented areas typically manifest on sun-exposed regions of the body, including the face, hands, arms, shoulders, and feet. Predominantly observed in individuals aged 40 and above, these spots vary in size, ranging from freckle-sized to over half an inch in length, and exhibit colors from light brown to black. When clustered, age spots collectively create a larger visual impact.

request an appointment

Causes of Age Spots

While age spots commonly stem from cumulative exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, they can also result from tanning bed/lamp usage, incidents of trauma or injury, or genetic predisposition. Individuals with light skin, a history of frequent sunburn, or prolonged sun exposure are more prone to developing age spots.

Diagnosis of Age Spots

Typically benign, true age spots do not necessitate treatment. However, if a suspected age spot appears irregular, a biopsy may be conducted to rule out malignancy. Spots exhibiting characteristics such as dark pigmentation, an unusual mix of colors, rapid growth, or those that are itchy, red, sensitive, or prone to bleeding should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

Treatment Options for Age Spots

Although not medically perilous, many individuals find age spots aesthetically undesirable. Treatment options to diminish or remove age spots encompass:

  • Hyfrecator
  • Bleaching creams
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical peels

Since age spot treatment is predominantly cosmetic, it is typically not covered by insurance.

Prevention of Age Spots

To prevent the occurrence or exacerbation of age spots, it is advisable to minimize sun exposure and consistently use broad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA and UVB). Additional protective measures include wearing UV-blocking clothing and a wide-brimmed hat.

Additional Resources