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As we age it is common for age spots (also called liver spots or sun spots) to appear on the skin and cause some concern. That’s because age spots can be confused with melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer that occurs when pigment-producing cells darken the skin in specific areas. It’s important that you check with your dermatologist to make sure that those spots are not harmful and merely age spots.
So, what can you do to get rid of these age spots? The good news is that age spots are not harmful and you have several options available to you for removing them.
“Nobody likes those dark spots that make us look older,” says Angie Seelal, a Certified Registered Physician Assistant specializing in Dermatology with Advanced Dermatology PC. “These dark brown patches,” explains Seelal, “are the result of long-term sun exposure that has triggered clusters of melanocyte skin cells to produce the protective pigment melanin. However, unlike a tan, age spots don’t fade and usually don’t appear until later in life.”
“Age spots can be as large as half an inch but may appear more obtrusive if they border one another. “Typically, they show up where we’ve had the greatest sun exposure: our face, hands, arms, and shoulders. Fortunately, we have a wide range of approaches that can successfully diminish sunspots,” says Seelal.