As the years go by, you’ve noticed changes in your skin. Wrinkles, laugh lines, sagging, and even age spots. You’re thinking, is this just what happens with the passage of time? Are these the consequences of aging?
One of the most common skin changes amongst adults over the age of 50 is the development of age spots. Here are some of the most frequent questions asked about these dark, pigmented patches on the skin.
They go by many names, but age spots, liver spots, dark spots, and sunspots are the light to dark brown freckle-like patches and dots that primarily appear on one’s face, chest, arms, and hands. These highly pigmented flat, oval areas begin to appear in adults as they reach their 50s but can appear in people of all ages.
There is more of an explanation to why age spots begin to appear as we grow older, sun exposure. Age spots typically appear on areas of the body that are consistently exposed to the sun. That’s why hands, arms, and faces are some of the most affected areas. Remember how you were constantly being bugged about wearing sunscreen, even when you weren’t at the beach? There’s a reason for that. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, the sun is our enemy. Constant exposure to the sun’s UV rays causes significant damage to the skin, which results in pigmented lesions known as age spots.
The good news is – yes! Like mentioned previously, sunscreen is the best protection you can get for skin that isn’t typically covered by clothing. Science shows that continuous sun exposure not only activates new spots through pigment production but also darkens older ones. So, it’s never too late to start lathering on that SPF. It’s important to note that not all sunscreens are created equal. Specialists recommend sunscreens containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide because they offer great protection from UVA and UVB rays and are less allergenic than chemical sunscreens. Make sure to use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to block 97% of rays.
Most of the time, age spots aren’t a medical concern. They are usually benign and just a result of sun exposure, like freckles. But there are times when the pigment-producing cells that give you age spots can become cancerous, so it’s important to go to your dermatologist if you begin to see new growth on your body. Self-diagnosis is not reliable!
Now that you’ve visited your doctor and made sure you’re in good shape, here are some ways that you can treat damaged skin like age spots.
There are two main methods: skin products and skin treatments.
There are a ton of products on the market that are designed to lighten the spots on your body. The key is to look for products that include ingredients like retinol, kojic acid, glycolic acid, and the famous vitamin C. Here are some highly-rated age spot reducing anti-aging products.
*You can buy these products at one of our 4 Tampa locations.
Age spots are known to be a little pesky. Dark spots especially are not always treatable with over-the-counter topicals like lotions and creams. Don’t lose hope yet. Technology has come a long way, and there are now plenty of safe treatments that can help reduce and sometimes completely diminish dark spots!
The most common treatment to reduce pigmentation and lesions is IPL, intense pulsed light. Intense pulsed light treatments (also known as a photofacial) help improve the skin tone, texture, and clarity of one’s skin by delivering multiple wavelengths of light energy to target pigmented or damaged skin cells.
One of the most powerful IPL treatments to treat pigmented and vascular lesions is Lumecca by InMode. Lumecca is a great solution to effectively remove age spots because it uses a high peak power in comparison to other devices, getting rid of the darkest of spots.
A patient only requires one to three sessions of Lumecca to improve not only age spots but also vascular lesions such as telangiectasias (spider veins), rosacea, freckles and other types of skin damage.
Lumecca is a very comfortable treatment that feels like a light snap of elastic. The only side effects of such a treatment are redness and slight warming of the skin that usually subsides within the first hour. Over the next 24-48 hours, the skin might darken before the pigmented lesions flake off to reveal an even skin tone.
Want to know what makes Lumecca different? It delivers up to three times more energy in the 500-600 nm range to improve the efficacy of removal of light and dark pigments.