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What are age and liver spots?

What are age and liver spots?
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Age spots are also known as liver spots or solar lentigines, and are patches of clumped melanin. That means a flat tan, brown, or black spot in a variety of sizes and shapes, typically found on the forehead, cheeks, hands, shoulders and arms. That’s because these areas are the most sun-exposed areas, and age spots are sun-exposure related.

Anyone over 50 is likely to have age spots, hence the name, but young people can get age spots too, and those who tend to spend a lot of time in the sun or have used a lot of tanning salons have an increased likelihood.

Are age spots the start of cancer?
No. Age spots are benign and do not require treatment, but if you don’t like the look of them, they can be lightened or removed. Cancer typically presents differently, in that it may grow quickly, be quite dark, have an irregular border, have a mixture of colours, or itch, bleed, be tender or red.

How do I know if it’s really an age spot?
It could also be a mole, seborrhoeic keratoses or a lentigo maligna, a type of skin cancer. The only way to know for sure is to check all the symptoms of each thing, and get examined by your dermatologist.

How to get rid of age spots?
The most common treatment that works very well is a laser treatment, where light destroys the melanin-producing cells without damaging other tissues. You may also be prescribed a bleaching cream, or have your age spots frozen off with liquid nitrogen. Dermabrasion may be required (a sort of sanding-down technique) or a chemical peel.

Let us take care of your age spots.
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