What causes age spots, and will they disappear on their own?
Age spots causes and treatments, West Malling, Kent
As we age, our skin undergoes various changes, and one common change is the development of age spots. These small, darkened patches that appear on the skin are the result of years of sun exposure and other factors. But why exactly do they form, and will they eventually fade away on their own? Read on for everything you need to know.
What are Age Spots?
Age spots, also known as liver spots or solar lentigines, are flat, brown, or black spots that typically appear on areas of the skin that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, shoulders, and arms. Despite their name, age spots are not directly related to the ageing process but rather to cumulative sun damage over time.
What causes age spots?
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the primary cause of age spots. Prolonged and unprotected exposure to the sun’s UV rays increases the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for giving colour to our skin. Over time, this excess melanin can become concentrated in certain areas, leading to the formation of age spots.
Although age spots are not directly caused by the aging process, they tend to become more prevalent as we grow older. This is due to the cumulative effects of sun exposure and the decreased ability of the skin to regenerate and repair itself as efficiently. Some people are more prone to developing age spots due to genetic factors. If your parents or close relatives have age spots, you may have a higher likelihood of developing them as well.
Will age spots disappear on their own?
Age spots are generally harmless and do not require medical treatment. However, it is important to note that age spots will not disappear on their own. They are a form of hyperpigmentation that occurs deep within the skin and cannot be easily reversed without intervention.
While age spots may not fade naturally, several treatment options are available to reduce their appearance or remove them completely:
Targeted chemical peels containing blends of actives like glycolic acid, kojic acid, TCA, retinol, and salicylic acid will help to address signs of ageing and pigmentation all in one go. Patient selection and assessment are key for successful pigmentation treatment, and patience and adherence to a good skincare regime is fundamental.
The best skincare ingredients for pigmentation are a combination of chemical exfoliants and anti-melanin creams like Cyspera, a highly effective skin pigmentation cream used to remove brown spots, reduce pigmentation marks, and treat melasma, leaving a natural light skin complexion. Its key active ingredient is cysteamine, which is proven to be even more effective than hydroquinone. It is found naturally in human cells and reduces melanin in the skin epidermis.
A vitamin C serum is an excellent all-around antioxidant. It reduces melanin production through its action as a tyrosinase inhibitor, brightening skin and preventing oxidation of existing pigmentation so it doesn’t become darker. It’s also essential to protect the skin from more pigmentation caused by UV damage. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day – the higher the SPF, the better.
RF (Radiofrequency) microneedling combines the benefits of traditional microneedling with the use of radiofrequency energy. While RF microneedling is primarily known for its skin tightening and rejuvenating effects, it can also help improve pigmentation-related issues, including age spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation.
RF microneedling involves the use of tiny needles that penetrate the skin’s surface, creating controlled micro-injuries. These micro-injuries trigger the body’s natural healing response, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. Increased collagen and elastin levels can lead to improved skin texture, tone, and pigmentation.
RF microneedling devices also emit radiofrequency energy. This energy generates heat in the deeper layers of the skin, targeting specific pigmented areas. The heat helps break down excess melanin, the pigment responsible for hyperpigmentation, and encourages its dispersion, leading to a more even skin tone.
If you’d like to learn more about the treatment options, click here to enquire or to book a consultation.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.