Age spots are associated with getting older because they typically develop over long-term exposure to ultraviolet light. At Marion Dermatology, you can say goodbye to unsightly age spots with one of several treatments customized to meet your unique aesthetic needs. Expert dermatologist Bryan Hicks, MD, and the team will also help you with a skin care plan designed to prevent future age spots and sun damage. To learn more about your treatment options or for an evaluation, call one of the offices in Ocala and The Villages, Florida, or schedule an appointment online.
Age spots, also called liver spots and solar lentigines, refer to tan and brown spots that develop over years of exposure to sunlight. Age spots are very common here in Florida and most often appear on your face and hands. They can develop anywhere on your body that’s routinely exposed to ultraviolet light.
Everyone’s skin naturally contains melanin, a pigment that gives your skin its color. When your skin is exposed to ultraviolet light, it produces extra melanin, which leads to tanning. In some cases, ultraviolet light causes proliferation of a localized clump of melanin-producing cells, resulting in a darkened spot.
Age spots are not cancerous, and they don’t lead to cancer. Another type of skin lesion called actinic keratosis may occasionally resemble age spots and is precancerous. Dr. Hicks can tell the difference and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Protecting your skin from ultraviolet light won’t diminish your existing age spots, but it can prevent new spots from forming. When you’re ready to get rid of age spots, Dr. Hicks may recommend one of several treatments:
Daily application of a prescription retinoid cream like Retin A gradually fades age spots over the course of many months. Of course this needs to be combined with excellent sunscreen use.
Dr. Hicks uses an alexandrite laser to eliminate age spots. Heat from the laser breaks down the pigmented cells. Then your body clears away the waste and your age spots are gone for good.
Dermabrasion uses a rapidly rotating brush to sand away the outer surface of your skin, allowing new skin to grow in its place. You may need several treatments to fully eliminate your age spots.
Chemical peels also remove the outer layers of your skin, but they do it with chemical solutions. Dr. Hicks can customize your chemical peel to remove the surface layer or to go a little deeper and take away several layers. Your recovery time is longer after a deep peel, but it may get rid of your age spots with one treatment.
If you don’t like the appearance of your age spots, call Marion Dermatology, or schedule an appointment online.