Aging Skin Spots: Why Do They Appear?

Aging skin spots are common and are caused by extra coloring in the skin. The oval spots range from tan to black and are used to protect the skin from contact with the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Aging Skin Spots

Do you have age spots? These are small oval spots that are known by several names. If you have some on your body you might be wondering what’s causing them. For example, you might be wondering if the spots are serious or not. Another issue is whether they’re caused by an illness or disease. This is critical so you’ll know what aging skin spots are all about and what causes them. If you want to get rid of the “liver spots” then it’s also critical to know how you can do that. This will help to keep your skin as smooth and even as possible.  

It might be surprising but sunspots are a good thing. The main function is to protect the skin from UV rays, which can cause health conditions like skin cancer. This is an important issue because you’ll certainly want to minimize your risk of problems like cancer. It’s all about knowing the main causes of this condition and the different ways to treat it. For example, what do the spots look like? What causes them? How can you treat them effectively? These are some of the main issues to take up to deal with the dark spots as well as possible.

How Dangerous Are UV Rays?

You’ve probably heard about the importance of wearing sunscreen that’ 30+ SPF. However, you might be wondering why this is important. For example, sunlight is a good source of Vitamin D, which is a powerful antioxidant.

Every year people spend tons of money trying to get the “perfect tan.” This could involve lying on a beach blanket or inside a suntanning machine. However, experts explain that a “healthy tan” isn’t a thing. For example, when your skin produces more of the pigment melanin it’s protecting you from ultraviolet (UV) light.

The darkened skin provides some protection from the sun’s rays. However, this is minimum protection. For example, if a person with white skin gets a dark tan, they’re just getting sun protection factor (SPF) up to 4. This is quite low considering it’s recommended you get SPF 30+ when picking a sunscreen.

Many people want a suntan to improve their skin’s appearance. However, this is a sign of skin damage and that the skin is trying to protect itself from more damage.

There are two main kinds of tanning reaction. One is immediate skin darkening. This involves melanin (pigment) already within the skin that darkens when UVA rays contact it. The tan starts fading a couple of hours after the sun exposure stops.

There’s also something called “delayed tanning. This happens over three days. In this case, the new pigment is made and sent among the top skin cells. This tan can last for many weeks.

Then there’s a sunburn. This involves high amounts of UV radiation that damages/kill most of the skin cells on the top layer of skin. This causes the skin to become red. It starts after exposure to UV radiation then reaches the highest level between 8-24 hours. Then it starts fading over a couple of days. Sometimes bad sunburns cause the skin to blister/peel.

What Are Aging Skin Spots?

These are marks that often show up on the skin after long-term sun exposure. These dark spots aren’t dangerous. However, you might want to ditch them to make your skin look more even/smoother. These age spots can have other names like sunspots and liver spots. The one “liver spots” is ironic since they’re unrelated to the liver.

The marks are flat and darker than the skin around them. The spots can look like freckles but they’re different. The color can be beige, brown, or even black.

The spots are caused when the body makes too much of a pigment known as melanin. When sunlight contacts the skin, the body makes some extra pigment to keep the skin safe from ultraviolet sun rays.

The skin gets darker based on how much melanin is made to protect it. It’s worth noting that the spots appear as a way to protect the skin. However, it also shows that the skin has been exposed to UV rays, which can cause long-term damage.

Sunspots usually show up in skin regions that sunlight often contact. This includes:

  • Hands (back)
  • Shoulders
  • Feet (tops)
  • Back
  • Arms
  • Face  

These aging spots usually show up in people 40+ years old. However, younger people who use tanning beds or often get sunburns might also experience them.

Doctors can usually see age spots by looking at your skin. They might use a special magnifying tool that’s used to check skin regions. Sometimes it might be tough to tell the difference between sunspots and a kind of cancer known as “melanoma“. This skin cancer shows up in cells with pigment.

Sometimes a doctor orders a “biopsy.” This involves taking a small skin sample and having a lab run test. This will help to figure out the kind of growth you have.

Tips to Prevent Sunburn

1. Add sunscreen before going outdoors

You should do this 15+ minutes before going outdoors. You should even take this step if it’s a cloudy day. The reason you should do it in advance is it takes around 15 minutes for the skin to soak up the sunscreen to provide protection.

2. Buy shades with UV protection

The band ZZ Top once sang about wearing “Cheap Sunglasses.” Well, it’s not good in terms of UV protection. You should avoid cheap sunglasses because the UV light gets through the glasses then gets trapped between your eyes and the shades. This makes a bad situation worse.

3. Wear a wide-brimmed hat

This is a better option than a cap. This is a good option for covering your face. However, a wide-brimmed hat is better for protecting the face and neck. As always, it’s important to have as much protection as possible to help minimize your chance of getting sunspots or sunburns.  

4, Pick SPF 30+

This will provide the best protection. You might or might need this much protection but it’s better to be on the safe side. The cost will also be somewhat higher.

5. Wear 50+_UPF Clothing

This refers to the ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) clothing. It can help to keep out 98% of ultraviolet A/B rays. It might seem enough just to keep your body covered when it’s exposed to sunlight. However, that’s not enough. The clothing should be thick enough to keep off UV rays.

6. Avoid sunlight from 11 AM to 2 PM

These are the hottest parts of the day. If you’re going to be outdoors in the summertime try to stay in shade to avoid your risk of sunburn. If you absolutely must be exposed to sunlight around noon make sure to wear 30+ SPF sunscreen and a cap or wide-brimmed hat to avoid aging skin spots. 

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