If the term “sun spots” wasn’t already taken by the sun itself, it is likely that it is the term we would use to describe what we instead call “age spots,” the flat, tan, or brown areas of skin which often appear on the face, hands, shoulders, and arms. Those areas are the parts of the body that are most heavily and frequently exposed to the sun, which is the main factor that leads to the appearance of age spots. But age spots do in fact become more frequent and pronounced as we get older. While age spots are not harmful, they can be unattractive and unwelcome, which is why plenty of people get treatments to reduce their visibility.
What Do Age Spots Look Like?
Age spots can appear at any age and on people of all skin types, though they are more common in people over the age of 50 and those who have a lighter skin tone. Age spots appear:
- As flat, oval areas of increased pigmentation
- Usually tan, brown or black
- On skin that has had the most sun exposure over the years, such as the backs of hands, tops of feet, face, shoulders and upper back
Is It an Age Spot of a Sign of Skin Cancer?
As noted, age spots are of no medical concern and do not require medical treatment. The same cannot be said about melanoma, however. A common problem many people have is distinguishing between unattractive age spots and signs of potentially fatal skin cancer.
One person dies of melanoma every hour, according to SkinCancer.org. If you notice dark spots, take time to check for melanoma at home. Err on the side of caution if you are uncertain whether the discolored area of skin is cancerous or not and schedule a skin cancer evaluation with an experienced dermatologist as soon as you can since early detection and treatment can dramatically increase the odds of beating skin cancer.
How Are Age Spots Treated?
Early detection and treatment is not only a big plus for identifying and fighting cancer, it can also make treating age spots more effective. As with most skin conditions, early detection and correction may lead to better outcomes for lessening the appearance of age spots.
At Dr. Mariano Busso’s Miami-Coconut Grove aesthetic dermatology clinic, we offer several products and technologies which can safely and effectively reduce the appearance of age spots and return skin to its even, natural tone.
One such treatment is Obagi® Nu Derm. The Nu-Derm System is an anti-aging therapy that penetrates below the skin’s surface to transform skin cell functions at the cellular level and correct the damage within, revealing healthy, younger-looking skin. Dr. Busso recommends the Obagi® Nu Derm System for men and women who want to treat age spots, fine lines, rough skin, skin laxity, redness, sallowness, and other instances of hyperpigmentation (discoloration).
Get Rid of Age Spots – Call Dr. Busso Today
If you are ready to do something about age spots or are concerned that those spots on your skin may be an indication of skin cancer, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Busso online, or call our office directly at 305-857-0144 for a professional skin cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment plan.