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Are Age Spots and Sunspots the Same Thing

questions about age spotsAre Age Spots and Sunspots the Same Thing? If you have small brown spots on the surface of your skin, you may be trying to determine whether they are age spots or sunspots. The truth is, age spots and sun spots are actually the exact same thing. In fact, these spots go by numerous names including age spots, sun spots and liver spots.

Most often, small brown spots on the skin are referred to as age spots due to the simple fact that they tend to develop as one ages. Though they can occur at any age, they are most common among people who are over the age of 40. Therefore, they are seen as one of the common signs of aging. As people age, production of the pigment that gives the skin its color speeds up. This can result in concentrated patches, often referred to as age spots, that are darker than the surrounding skin.

The name “sunspots” is based on what typically causes small dark spots on the skin. A pigment in the skin called melanin is responsible for tanning, which occurs to protect the deeper layers of the skin from sun damage. In time, however, melanin can actually form clumps that do not fade away like a tan. These clumps appear as small brown spots on the surface of the skin. Sunspots most often occur on the face, neck, hands, arms and shoulders because these areas are commonly exposed to the sun. They can occur as the result of prolonged or frequent exposure to the sun and tanning beds.

If Age Spots and Sunspots Are the Same, How Do You Treat Them?

Because sunspots and age spots are the same thing, the methods for treating them are the same. In most cases, the spots are harmless and do not require medical intervention. Many people choose to get rid of them for cosmetic reasons, though. Bleaching creams designed to fade dark patches are widely available. Cosmetic procedures like dermabrasion and chemical peels are also widely used because they are intended to remove the outer layer of the skin to reveal new, healthy skin. Removing dark spots utilizing these methods may take several treatments, though. Another popular method of getting rid of age spots and sun spots is laser therapy. Using a laser, a doctor can break up the clumps of pigment which eventually causes them to be reabsorbed by the body and fade away. These treatments are relatively painless, but full results usually are not achieved without multiple treatments.

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