Age Spots

Aging isn't easy and age spots represent another cosmetic skin concern which many of us can expect over the age of 50. Age spots or solar lentigines appear as flat spots on the skin typically in the areas most exposed to the skin such as the face, hands, arms, neck, and shoulders.

They are usually not dangerous and don't typically appear until well into the middle-age years, though they may be found in younger people with extensive sun exposure.

What Causes Age Spots to Form on the Skin?

The main causes of age spots are genetics and sun damage brought on by over exposure to the sun. Age spots can be avoided or at least delayed by using sunscreen or wearing protective clothing and hats while in the sun. Of course, opting for the shade while dining or relaxing outside is also a good idea.


Age spots are typically flat and rather small. They range in size from that of a freckle to about ½ inch in diameter and are round or oval shaped. The color depends on the skin color of the individual. The age spots can be tan, brown, or black. On most Caucasians, the spots are liver colored and are often referred to as liver spots.

When to Seek Medical Treatment

Other than being a cosmetic annoyance, age spots are usually harmless. However, if any signs of melanoma or other skin cancers are noticed, your dermatologist or dermatology provider should be contacted immediately.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and can be recognized by the classic ABC warning signs:

A is for area. If the mole or spot is growing rapidly,see a dermatologist.

B is for border. An irregular border is a warning sign.

C is for color. If the mole or spot is an unusually dark color for your skin type, you should seek medical attention.

Cosmetic Treatments

If age spots are cramping your style, there is a dermatological treatment available known as laser therapy. Over-the-counter products may also be purchased at drug, health food stores and online.

Many have also found success fighting the appearance of age spots with natural remedies such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.