Age Spots: What are the symptoms?

Age spots are a term you have likely heard of before, but are you aware of the symptoms? In other words, could you identify one if it appeared on your skin tomorrow?

Colour of age spots

Liver spots, another name for age spots, are patches of the skin that change colour. One symptom is a change of the skin area to light brown, black or a shade in between those two colours. It has an increased pigmentation as compared to the skin around it.

Location of pigmentation

As age spots may develop from lengthy periods of exposure to the sun, the spots often appear on areas of the skin not covered up when you typically go outside. Commons places on the body to see them are the backs of the hands, face and forearms.

Other symptoms: Shape and feel

As for shape, liver spots often are flat and oval. They can be the size of a freckle or a few millimetres wider, and can appear in clusters or singularly. The skin spots do not hurt to touch, and they have the same texture as the rest of your skin.

Liver spots are usually harmless, however if you notice that an age spot changes colour, grows wider or becomes tender, make an appointment with a doctor to investigate these alterations. They may be symptoms of melanoma, a type of skin cancer.

Treatment of age spots

The spots are often a source a frustration for people as they alter one's appearance and can make a person feel self-conscious. Unfortunately, even when you protect your skin from the sun, you may still develop skin spots as part of the ageing process or other factors.

If you do not like the way age spots look on your skin, see a dermatologist to find out about cosmetic treatments to reduce or remove them. Popular methods include chemical peels and dermabrasion.

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