Skin discoloration may result in age spots

Do you like going outdoors? If you live in Atlanta, I'm sure you do! The great sunshine and warm weather...

Do you like going outdoors? If you live in Atlanta, I'm sure you do! The great sunshine and warm weather is what compels people to move and visit the Atlanta area. But we all know that the sun can be dangerous for your skin, causing discolorations and even cancer.

What are age spots?

Even though the sun has many great benefits, discoloration of the skin, which can result in age spots, is one of the side effects that make sunbathing or being outdoors less desirable.

Age spots are often called liver spots, but have nothing to do with the liver. These flat, darkened areas usually appear on your face, chest, shoulders, arms or hands. They usually appear in areas that have had the greatest amount of exposure to the sun.

What to do about age spots

Though painless and harmless, these spots may be annoying and can often be lightened with bleaching lotions or creams. Laser or freezing treatments are sometimes an option. See this information on treatment of age spots that can occur from exposure to the sun.

Covering your skin, limiting sun exposure or abstaining from tanning beds, as well as daily application of sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher are the key to preventing changes in pigmentation.

As with moles and birthmarks, it's important to do self-exams to recognize any changes in age spots. Changes in shape, size or color can indicate a more serious condition. If you notice such changes, contact your primary care doctor or dermatologist to have the spot checked. In some cases, your doctor will consult a plastic surgeon in the Atlanta area if condition warrants it.

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