Dark spots are one of the telltale signs of aging. Ninety percent of people who are 60 years or older have sun-induced age spots on their hands, face and neck. To prevent this beauty bane from forming, people must learn what causes hyperpigmentation to occur.
Too Much Sun Exposure
Contrary to popular belief, old age does not cause uneven pigmentation. Sun exposure is the main reason that people develop unwanted age spots. These spots rarely form on others parts of the body that remain hidden under clothing. If the spots were from aging, they would form all over the body.
It only takes a few minutes of sun exposure per day for a person’s skin to start aging prematurely. Besides age spots, sun exposure can also cause leathery skin, freckles and skin cancer. Over time, these negative effects become more noticeable. Fair-skinned individuals usually experience aged skin faster than others do. With that said, dark-skinned individuals can also develop uneven skin tones.
Other Factors that Lead to Uneven Pigmentation
Those who notice a change in their skin should visit a doctor to make sure that they do not have melanoma or another form of skin cancer. Besides sun exposure, hormonal changes can also lead to skin-related issues. For example, hormonal changes can cause a person to develop brown patches on their cheeks or forehead.
Not all dark spots are the result of sun exposure. People can even develop post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. For example, pimples or bug bites can cause dark spots that take a long time to fade. Age spots do not fade, so they require a different treatment method.
Preventing an Age Spot
Those who have this skin concern should take precautions to prevent any more damage from occurring. Never spend time in the sun without wearing sunscreen or protective clothing. Avoid tanning beds, and wear a wide-brimmed hat when spending time in the sun. The sun can even cause damage on cloudy days, so always have sunscreen handy when spending time outdoors.
Dark Spot Treatment
A dermatologist or dermatology provider can help treat dark spots. Uneven skin tones are difficult to treat, so seeking a professional’s help is often the best bet. One treatment option is the use of a topical skin-lightening agent. Another treatment option is ablative and/or non-ablative laser resurfacing. Patients can speak with their dermatologist to learn detailed information about what skin care options are available on the market.