My name is Melinda Johnson and I suffered with foot pain for many years. I went to see a podiatrist and after an examination, I was told that I had heel spur syndrome. I followed the recommendations of my doctor by doing at home treatments along with physical therapy. I was amazed at how much these treatments helped my foot pain. Living with pain can have a big impact on your life and that's why I started this blog. My foot pain kept me from doing many things that I enjoy and I want to help others who are going through the same situation. As you browse through my blog, you'll learn about home treatments, medical procedures and new advancements in medicine that can help reduce pain. It is my hope that by writing this blog, you can live pain free too.
Irregular dark spots of hyper-pigmentation on the skin are usually called age or liver spots. They can appear anywhere but are most commonly found on the hands, arms, shoulders and upper back, and face. The spots are a result of sun damage to the skin. The following guide can help you better understand age spots as well as figure out what to do about them.
What are the main characteristics of age spots?
Unlike moles or freckles, ages spots may have slightly irregular shapes that range from roughly circular to oval. They tend to be light brown, although they can be darker. Most importantly, they are flat and not raised or bumpy, nor do they cause any pain. The spots may get larger as you age, especially if you continue to spend a lot of time outdoors or in the sun. Any irregular raised spot, especially if painful or irritated, should be checked immediately by a medical professional.
Can they be avoided?
Since age spots are caused by sun exposure, wise sun exposure when you are younger is paramount to avoidance of the spots when you are older. Sunblock, hats, and covering up in the sun are the best ways to avoid the appearance of spots. If you are already beginning to develop age spots, you can help prevent them from darkening or spreading by using proper sun protection going forward.
Are the spots dangerous?
No, the spots are harmless and purely a cosmetic issue. You can treat them as a warning sign, though, since they indicate the skin has suffered some sun damage. If you are developing age spots, plan to have regular skin-cancer screenings with a dermatologist to ensure these are the only signs of sun damage you are experiencing.
Can the age spots be removed or lightened?
The spots can make your skin look older, so it's common to seek removal. This is especially true of spots on the hands and face. Your dermatologist may be able to help lighten, and in some cases fully remove, the spots. The most common treatment is the use of bleaching lotions to lighten the pigment in the age spots, but these must be used carefully as they can cause skin irritation. Laser treatment is also somewhat successful at removing the spots, especially if you have darker spots and relatively fair skin.
For more help, talk to a dermatologist in your area.