Age spots are a common skin condition that usually appears after the age of 50. Often, these areas of increased pigmentation are referred to as liver spots, yet they have nothing to do with a person’s liver. Instead, age spots tend to occur on areas of the skin where a person has had the most sun exposure. If you or a loved one has noticed these spots popping up, here is what you should know about their prevention and treatment.
Typically, age spots are most prominent on senior adults with fair skin. However, they can occur in younger adults and those with darker skin pigmentation. An age spot will be a flattened circular or oval area of the skin that may be brown, black or tan in color. According to Boca Raton elder care professionals, they are usually found on areas of the body that have been exposed to the sun such as the backs of the hands, shoulders, and face.
When to Be Concerned
Age spots are usually harmless and do not require treatment beyond aesthetic reasons. However, any unusual skin lesions should always be evaluated. Signs that age spots require medical evaluation include the following:
- Irregular borders
- Rapid changes in size
- Multiple colors
- Itching, redness or bleeding
Similar to moles, any of these symptoms could signify melanoma, which is a serious form of skin cancer.
Prevention and Treatment
Age spots are caused by prolonged sun exposure, so the best prevention is to wear sunscreen every day. Once they occur, however, treatment is aimed at fading the spots. Over-the-counter fading creams containing glycolic acid and other ingredients that have shown some success at fading age spots are available at most drug stores. However, many of these cause skin irritation. Medical treatments include prescription medications, laser therapy, dermabrasion, and chemical peels. Due to the side effects associated with these treatments, it is important for seniors to have a professional evaluation to determine if treatment is necessary for their age spots.
Learn more about elderly health from the friendly and experienced staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of hourly, live-in, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care in Boca Raton. Our caregivers can help your senior loved one maintain a healthy diet, regular exercise routine, and mental acuity while he or she ages in the comfort of home. Give us a call at (561) 826.9282 and speak with a dedicated Care Manager today to learn more.