Brown spots can start to appear at any age, especially after the 40 mark. This gives them the less than appealing and untrue nicknames of age or liver spots. Solar lentigines, the medical term for skin spots, have nothing to do with the health of your liver. As to being an indicator of growing older, the truth is that brown spots begin years earlier from over-exposure to the sun.
The spots are caused by a pigment called melanin, and are not always brown; they can also be a gray or black. The good news on these flat skin discolorations is they are not cancerous.
Freckles are also classified under solar lentigos. Aside from sun exposure, freckles are often a product of genes. If Mom and Dad, Grandpa and Grandma had freckles, chances are you will too. Freckles are typically found on people with fair skin, blue eyes, and blonde or red hair. For you word-origins lovers, the word “freckles” is based on the Old English and Norse “freken” and “freknur”.
Genetics also play a part with melasma, a common skin disorder that causes dark patches of skin in sun-exposed areas. The dark and irregular patches, often called “the mask of pregnancy,” does not appear on just expectant mothers. Native Americans and those with German/Russian Jewish DNA have higher incident levels of getting melasma across their faces and forearms.
A third cause of brown spots is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is a remaining by product of allergic and medical reactions, infections, and traumas like burns, bug bites, and inflammatory diseases such as atopic dermatitis.
Typically, brown spots appear on the face and hands, arms and shoulders – the same places many of us are “kissed” by the sun. While they typically lighten during the winter months, for cosmetic reasons you can lessen their appearance by using a product like Retinol CS by Glo Therapeutics. Its glycolic acid diminishes brown spots and the retinol rids your face of aging fine lines and restores brightness to dull complexions. Use it at least twice a week for the maximum benefits.
Applying a good high SPF sunscreen prevents more brown spots from sprouting at any age. Do not make the mistake of applying it just to your face — your neck and shoulders, forearms and hands are just as susceptible to damaging UV rays especially when not covered by clothing.
Bioelements’ SPF 50 FaceScreen is the ultimate in UVA and UVB skin protection. Packed with antioxidant vitamins and Chinese herbs, it also soothes your skin with gentle chamomile. Besides preventing darker pigmented spots, its rich emollients restores your skin’s elasticity and fights wrinkles.
Brown spots serve as a reminder that time marches on. With use of these products, regaining and retaining a youthful appearance is a possiblility.