What are Age Spots, Sun Spots & Liver Spots?

By: Sara Kitch

If your idea of a vacation is a long day at the shore, you may have experienced some changes in your skin tone with the passing of the years. What are those strange, freckle-like spots that appear on the skin after sun bathing? You might be one of the millions of Americans over 40 years old who begin to develop 'age spots'.
If you want to be able to work toward treatment options, you need to know exactly how and why these markings occur. This article aims to inform you about how to identify and treat these bothersome skin blemishes.
Age spots, sun spots and liver spots - are they the same thing?
Because there are many different ways of naming the same thing, it's easy to be confused about age spots, sun spots and liver spots. No matter what name they may have, the conclusions are the same: sun spots cause the skin look decades older than it should, making skin care products to fade age spots a necessary investment.
What are the primary characteristics?
Age spots, sun spots or liver spots are small freckle-like spots, usually brown or redish, that are most commonly found on exposed areas of the body like the face, hands and shoulders. Liver spots range in color and can even be blackish - something that depends on the individual case and skin tone. Age spots are a simple change in pigmentation caused by the damaging effects of the sun.
How can I rejuvenate my sun-spotted skin?
Sun and age spots can thankfully be reduced or removed entirely through medical and cosmetic procedures or by using specially designed aging skin care products. People who are concerned about the look and feel of their skin may want to look into the various ways of rejuvenating skin that has experienced sun damage. The most common age spot remover methods are Microdermabrasion, Bleaching Creams, Laser Surgery and Chemical Peels.
What makes sun spots occur?
Sun spots can result from just one instance of over-exposure to the sun. Over-pigmentation occurs when the skin's melanocytes - cells located in the epidermis - begin to produce pigments in excess, following too much sun. Melanocytes are responsible for the pigment production leading to the darkening of sun-exposed skin that we normally refer to as a tan.
When melanocytes malfunction due to over-exposure, they can process an excess quantity of melanin pigment. The excessive amount of melanin leads to age spots and sometimes melasma.
Finally, you should know that most sun spots are completely harmless and concerns about them are therefore usually cosmetic. However, average person's eye cannot distinguish skin cancer from harmless dark spots. It is therefore of vital concern that you see a dermatologist to ensure that any sun spots you may have are not cancerous.

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