Almost everyone develops spots as a sign of aging, but fortunately, managing the spots isn’t difficult. Age spots may be a light or dark brown color, and their texture is no different than the rest of your skin. It’s normal to have age spots, but many people want to know how to get rid of age spots, to even their skin tone and improve their self confidence.
Causes of Age Spots
The primary cause of age spots is prolonged exposure to UV light. This light comes from the sun, and tanning lamps and beds. When enough UV light makes contact with your skin, it increases your skin’s production of melanin, the pigment that gives your skin color.
As your skin produces more melanin, it usually tans. After years of sun exposure, though, the melanin sometimes is produced in very high concentrations in one small area of your skin. When melanin clumps together like this, it causes age spots.
The most common places to develop age spots are the areas of your skin that are most exposed to sunlight. These areas include:
- Shoulders and neckline area
Preventing Age Spots
Age spot prevention is not always possible, but you can take some preventative measures to decrease your risk of developing them. Wear sunscreen every day that you plan to be in the sun, and use a facial moisturizer that has SPF. Always apply sunscreen about a half hour before going out in the sun, and reapply it every two hours.
When possible, avoid being in the direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. This is when the sun’s UV rays are the most harmful. Wear hats to protect your head and neck from excessive sun exposure.
Managing Age Spots
Age spots don’t pose any health concerns or risks, but many people want to reduce or eliminate the appearance of the spots on their skin. Luckily, there are a variety of treatment options available as steps for how to get rid of age spots.
You can use a prescription bleaching cream to gradually help the spots fade, which usually takes a few months. If you use a bleaching cream, always wear sunscreen. The cream makes your skin more vulnerable to damage from UV rays.
There are also many medical procedures you can undergo to eliminate age spots. Some of these procedures have potential side effects and complications, so you and your doctor should discuss the best treatment option for you. Some procedures include:
- Chemical peels that remove the top layer of skin
- Cryosurgery to freeze off the age spots
- Laser treatment to destroy melanin-producing cells
You can try over-the-counter creams to manage age spots as well. While these usually aren’t as effective as prescription bleaching creams, they may help to fade age spots slightly. The best ingredients to look for in over-the-counter cream are hydroquinone, glycolic acid, kojic acid, and deoxyarbutin.
If you don’t want to undergo a medical procedure or put chemicals on your skin, you can try some home remedies. Not all of these remedies will work for everyone, but some people have found success in using common kitchen ingredients to treat age spots. Some popular home remedies are:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Castor oil
- Aloe vera
You may have to try multiple treatment options before completely eliminating the age spots. Some treatments work better than others, and it can take time before you determine the best way to manage your age spots.