Know Your Age & Sun Spots

By: Sara Kitch

What are those strange, freckle-like spots that appear on the skin after sun bathing? You could be among the millions of Americans who develop sun spots with age. Read on to inform yourself about how to identify and treat these skin pigmentations.
Firstly, the good news is that the majority of sun spots pose no health threat at all; concerns about them are primarily cosmetic. You should be aware, however, that most people cannot distinguish between a sun spot and a potentially cancerous growth. It is therefore of vital concern that you see a dermatologist to ensure that any sun spots you may have are not cancerous.
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 you call them, sun spots cause the skin to appear years older than it really is, making it necessary to seek out ways to fade age spots and other skin renovation alternatives. In order to explore treatment methods, you need to know how to identify these blemishes.
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. Age spots are not always brownish and will range in color, depending on one's skin tone and the level of sun exposure. Liver spots often cause the skin to look older and damaged.
The science behind sun spot formation
Sun spots can result from just one instance of over-exposure to the sun. Hyper-pigmentation and spotting happen when over-exposure to the sun causes the skin's melanocytes - or cells located in the epidermis - to mismanage the body's melanin (pigment) production. 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. This melanin overload causes the skin to turn red or brownish, resulting in what we call sun spots, and can also lead to melasma.
Sun and age spots can fortunately be removed using simple medical procedures, cosmetic treatments and certain aging skin care products. People interested in skin renovation should investigate the different types of skin renovation programs available. Among the most common age spot remover techniques list: Laser Surgery, Microdermabrasion, Chemical Peels and Bleaching Creams.

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