What are age spots?
Age spots, also known as sunspots or liver spots, are flat dark marks on the skin that appear in different shades: tan, brown, and black. They vary in size and usually appear on areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, shoulders, and arms.
Age spots are common among adults above the age of 50 years, particularly those with lighter skin. However, sunspots can also develop in younger people due to prolonged exposure to the sun.
Direct exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays for long periods can lead to excessive melanin production resulting in age spots.
Here are a few ways to help prevent excessive melanin production:
- Avoid tanning beds as the UV light can make age spots darker.
- Avoid sun exposure between 10 am, and 2 pm as the sun rays are harshest during this period. Try to schedule outdoor activities for other times of the day.
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 every day, 15-30 minutes before going outdoors. Re-apply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if you are swimming or sweating.
- Wear tightly woven clothing covering your arms and legs, along with a broad-brimmed hat to protect yourself against the sun.
- Consider wearing clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 40 to 50 to get the best protection.