Dark spots are brownish patches that appear on the skin as a person ages, due to either sun damage or genetics. Sometimes known as "liver spots," these benign patches resemble large freckles and usually appear on the face, neck, hands, feet or legs. Although they are not harmful, many people wish to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. A cosmetic dermatologist can effectively remove or reduce the appearance of age spots on the skin.
Dark spots, sometimes called liver spots, are light to dark brown patches that appear on the hands, legs, feet, or face as people age. Dark spots have rounded edges and look very much like large freckles. They are not a sign of disease and are not harmful. However, because age spots can detract from the skin's appearance, many people seek treatment from a cosmetic dermatologist for removing age spots.
Causes of Dark Spots
Dark spots develop as a result of genetics or exposure to the sun. Some people are genetically predisposed to developing age spots. Younger individuals who have relatives with age spots can anticipate developing the dark patches on their skin later in life. The other cause of age spots is prolonged sun exposure. Many years of tanning, working outdoors, or living in a sunny climate makes people more likely to develop age spots. Unfortunately, exposure to the sun also increases the risk of skin cancer, so any spots that have irregular edges or mottled coloring should be examined by a dermatologist.
Dark Spots Prevention
There is no way to prevent hereditary age spots. However, those caused by sun exposure can be prevented through effective protection from the sun. Wearing protective clothing and using a sunscreen with at least SPF 15, as well as limiting time spent in the sun, can reduce the appearance of age spots and other skin conditions.
Removing Dark Spots
Because they are only superficial pigmented patches, removing age spots is usually a relatively simple process. Chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and Photo rejuvenation treatments can all be effective in treating age spots and other surface damage to the skin. Consult a cosmetic dermatologist to determine what treatment will be the safest and most effective for you.