Age Spots, which are also known as solar or ‘senile’ lentigines, are dark spots that develop on exposed skin over a period of time. These changes in the skin’s appearance come with advancing age and are largely a result of the cumulative effects of exposure to sunlight and the damaging effects of UV radiation. Age Spots, which are usually dark brown in colour, appear on the most exposed areas of the skin, such as the face and hands. Because they occur as a result of chronic sun damage, they develop more commonly in fair-skinned people. The spots may be irregular in shape and are incorrectly called liver spots by many people. They are actually similar in appearance to freckles and are usually smooth to the touch. As the damage to the skin takes place over a number of years, it is essential that even young people should cover their skin daily with clothing or a quality sunscreen cream or lotion which has a high SPF rating. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.
Also note, however, that sunscreen blocks the rays of the sun, which help in the formation of Vitamin D in the body. It is therefore advisable to include dairy products in your diet as milk and yoghurt, for example, are good sources of Vitamin D.
As with all conditions, your Doctor should be consulted to diagnose and treat this condition properly. Get the latest advice on age spots and make sure your Doctor checks the spots, for correct identification, especially if the spots change in shape or colour over time. You may be looking at something of a different nature, so the correct medical expertise and treatment are always advisable.
In addition, our Pharmacists suggest the following:
- Stay out of the sun as much as possible, especially when the ultraviolet reading is at its highest i.e., between 10 am and 2 pm. Remember that after only a few minutes the sun can damage the skin even on a cloudy day.
- Before going out into the sun, always use a sunscreen with a high SPF rating on the exposed areas of the skin. Remember that damage to the skin is cumulative and the damage builds-up over the years. There are multiple types of sunscreen on the market, so please ask your Pharmacist or skincare expert for the best option for your particular needs.
- There are also skin bleaching products on the market which may help with the appearance of Age Spots. Ask your Pharmacist or skincare expert for advice regarding use.
- Sun protective clothing is now available to help protect the skin from the harmful rays. It is particularly useful in addition to sunscreen application, as it increases protection levels dramatically.
Please remember that this information serves as an educational aid only. Particularly in South Africa, where the occurrence of skin cancer and skin-related ailments keep increasing, it remains imperative to always get the correct medical advice for the most effective treatments.
For everything else, our pharmacists and skincare experts are always here to assist, advise and provide the best possible solutions and care. We know the overwhelming summer sun and fun feelings sometimes compromise your better judgement, which is why we make it our business to provide the best possible health and wellness solutions for you. So by all means, go live it up out there, just remember to pop in here first!