Also known as liver spots, sun spots, brown spots or solar lentigos, age spots are noticeable as small, dark brown flat areas of the skin. They can vary in size and most commonly appear on the hands, arms, shoulders, face and chest.
Age spots occur during the natural ageing process due to a gradual exposure to the sunlight (UVA) ageing ray. UVA stimulates the pigmentation cell in the skin (melanocyte cell) which produces the pigment in the skin called melanin.
This is how your skin forms a tan, as well as the unwanted patches of dark pigment. Normally found in older skins, age spots can also present in younger skins in cases of severe sunbathing and sunbed use.
The sizes of age spots can vary from the size of a freckle to half an inch. They can fade in the winter months and appear again as a slightly darker colour during summer months.
To help prevent age spots, wear an SPF sunscreen when the skin is exposed to sunlight. UVA light levels are present throughout the year, and therefore cause damage all year round.
In the UK during summer months, avoid the sun between 10am and 2pm when the sun's rays are strongest. Cover up wherever possible with hats and sunglasses, and sit in shaded areas.
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