What are the causes of age spots?
Age spots are a result of exposure to the sun; many people consider them a side effect of ageing, but this is simply because the skin becomes thinner as we age and is unable to provide as much protection against ultraviolet rays. If you regularly sunbathe or use sunbeds, then there is a high probability that you will develop age spots. Genetics is also a factor as you are more likely to get age spots if a close family member already has them.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of age spots are flat, oval shapes in the skin which usually appear brown or black in colour. They will develop in areas that are often exposed to the sun, for example the hands and face, but they can also appear on the arms, chest and shoulders, in groups or as single spots.
Preventing age spots
One of the best and preferable ways of treating age spots is by preventing them in the first place. Here are some things you can do to keep them at bay:
- Avoid the sun during peak hours in the afternoon, especially during the summer or when in hotter climates
- Apply sunscreen to your face and the back of your hands 30 minutes before you go outdoors, and if you plan on being outdoors for an extended amount of time, take the sunscreen with you and apply every 2 hours
- Wear a sunhat with a wide brim to keep the sun off your face and neck; a hat with a cotton lining is a preferable choice
- After being in the sun, apply vitamin E oil to your skin as this is an anti-oxidant that can help to neutralise skin-damaging molecules
What natural remedies are available?
There are some natural remedies you can try at home to help improve the appearance of the skin in cases of age spots, including:
- Applying the juice of a lemon twice a day; this mildly acidic fruit can help to remove the skin’s outer layer and lighten age spots
- Wipe age spots with buttermilk; its lactic acid contents can gently exfoliate the skin where there is sun damage
- A blend of one teaspoon of plain yoghurt and one teaspoon of honey can lighten age spots; apply to affected areas on the skin and leave for 30 minutes before rinsing. Repeat each day for lasting results
What skin treatments are available?
- Medispa Wilmslow offers two main treatments for cases of age spots:
- Obagi: A treatment for age spots requiring a skilled dermatologist, which usually takes about 20 minutes to apply and provides a significant improvement to appearance of the skin.
- Harmony IPL: A laser treatment which reduces signs of age spots and provides a rejuvenated appearance to the skin.