Age Spots & Liver Spots
Age spots, sometimes also known as liver spots, are blemishes that appear on the surface of the skin. Age spots can come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and colours, ranging from light beige to a deep, dark brown. They’re usually round or oval, and can sometimes affect larger portions of the skin.
Liver spots are always flat and the same texture as the rest of the skin. This is because these spots are collections of concentrated skin pigment. They’re found beneath the uppermost layer of the epidermis, the corneum stratum, and can appear on the hands, face, neck, chest, shoulders and back.
Are age spots dangerous?
As age spots are mere collections of skin pigment, on their own they are not dangerous and do not pose any threat to the health of the patient.
However, having numerous visible age spots usually puts patients at a slightly higher risk of developing skin cancer. If you have large portions of your skin covered in age spots that often vary in shape, size or colour, you should seek an evaluation from a physician or a dermatologist.
What causes age spots?
Age spots can appear as a result of many different factors, both internal and external.
Some people or people with a particular skin type have a hereditary predisposition to developing liver spots.
They can also appear as a result of prolonged exposure to the sun. The skin’s surface expands into contact with harmful UVA and UVB rays, which makes a place for more pigment to be produced in the affected areas. The excess pigment clusters together and forms spots which are usually a few shades darker than the surrounding skin colour.
Liver spots are ubiquitous in older people, as excess pigment production is a normal byproduct of ageing.
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Possible treatment options for age spots
While age spots themselves pose no concerns about the health of the person affected, they can often look rather unsightly, which is one of the main reasons they get removed.
When it comes to treatment options for age spots, there is a wide variety of solutions available. Some of the most common treatments are:
Bleaching creamsBleaching creams, while somewhat useful, cannot be used in all cases of age spots, and can cause permanent discolouration and even scarring of the sensitive skin.
Topical solutionsTopical solutions are creams, lotions, and other remedies that are applied to the skin topically to minimise the appearance of age spots. Their effectiveness varies depending on the brand, and can often take several months for any significant results to become visible.
Laser ResurfacingLaser resurfacing is a relatively new and innovative procedure used to treat age or liver spots. Laser beams are used to remove the outermost layer of the skin to make a place for a new, renewed skin to be formed. As most of the pigment clustering that causes age spots happens at the upper layers of the epidermis, replacing those layers with new skin can reduce and, in some cases, completely remove the appearance of age spots. However, laser resurfacing is a somewhat costly procedure and can be challenging to find a clinic or an experienced practitioner.
Chemical PeelsChemical peels, as their name suggests, are chemical solutions applied to the skin that causes it to ‘peel’ and makes way for a new layer of skin. When talking about chemical peels, what most people refer to are glycolic acid peels. Glycolic acid peels are considered to be mild peels and are a pretty common cosmetic treatment across the world. Glycolic acid peels, apart from plumping and rejuvenating the skin, can also be used to treat a wide variety of skin conditions, including age spots.
How Can Rutland Aesthetics Help
At Rutland Aesthetics, our team is lead by Dr Dhesi. With a strong medical background, Dr Dhesi approaches each patient as an individual. Age spots and liver spots require medical experience to diagnose correctly and with Dr Dhesi his additional specialist training in aesthetics and combination of medical background as a GP, enables him to assess your skin and provide a proven treatment program.