While age spots are a fairly common part of the aging process, understanding what causes them, how to prevent them, and—most importantly—signs of abnormal spots will help you help your senior loved one stay healthy.
Age Spots Defined
Age spots are the freckle-like spots that often appear on adults over the age of 40. They are most often seen on the hands, face, and neck. They are liver-colored on individuals with fair skin but deeper brown are on those with dark skin.
Cause of Age Spots
Although referred to as age spots, it isn’t the aging process that causes the spots. According to Annapolis elder care professionals, it is caused by years of exposure to ultra-violet light from the sun. The years of exposure cause the body to produce more melanin as a means of protection. People with fair skin will often have more age spots since their body naturally produces significant amounts of melanin to protect them from sun damage or skin cancer.
Signs of Abnormal Age Spots
Though they may be less than desirable, most of the time age spots are perfectly normal. Follow the ABC formula, however, if an age spot looks like it might be abnormal.
• A – Area or change in size
• B – Border or change in shape
• C – Color or change in color
It may be nothing serious, but it is always best to see a doctor to rule out melanoma or other skin cancers.
Prevention and Treatment
Of course, the way to prevent or reduce the occurrences of age spots is to limit sun exposure and to protect skin with sunscreen when outdoors. Some age spots, however, are inevitable, so how are they treated?
• Commercial products – There are familiar over-the-counter products as well as prescription medications specially formulated to treat age spots.
• Dermatology treatments – Laser, HQ lightening creams, and retina creams can all aid in minimizing age spots.
• Holistic approaches – Lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and honey or sugar scrubs have proven effective for some people in treating age spots.
Interested in learning more about senior wellness? Reach out to Home Care Assistance at 443-302-2771. We make senior health and safety our top priority and offer hourly, live-in, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care in Annapolis to ensure seniors have the help they need when they need it. Give us a call today. We are here to help!