Age spots are dark spots on the skin that results from excessive melanin production. They are flat brown, black or grey spots that commonly appear on sun-exposed skin, such as your face and the back of your hand. We can understand if it makes you feel concerned about your appearance. We would advise you to visit an aesthetic clinic JB to receive the proper treatment in such cases. We have shared details of medical treatments for melasma and hyperpigmentation in our previous blogs. Today, we will share the details of different medical procedures for age spots.
Types of Various Dark Spots apart from Age Spots
Sometimes, you may develop single age spots. Otherwise, they may even appear as clusters. Some patients might start developing them at an early age, while others might be during middle age or older adulthood. Age spots are not cancerous, and they do not develop into cancer. However, if you notice dark spots on your skin, it is always a better idea to consult a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis. The following skin conditions also cause dark spots on the skin. Let’s discuss them further to learn about their differences.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – This type of skin discolouration occurs after the development of skin inflammation, such as rashes, acne, or a scrape.
Melasma – increased estrogen levels during pregnancy or other medical conditions can cause melasma.
Seborrheic keratoses – These are round or oval skin growth that may appear on various parts of your body except the soles of your feet, near your mucous membranes, and the palms of your hand. They appear as small and rough areas and eventually develop into a wart-like appearance. Besides, they may also appear waxy with a raised surface. This skin condition is non-cancerous; however, sometimes, it can be challenging to differentiate them from melanoma.
Actinic Keratoses – This skin condition is characterised by rough and scaly spots on the face, hands, and arms. You may even develop patches similar to the size of an eraser. They can develop in areas that have suffered years of sun damage. Though this skin condition is non-cancerous; however, it may eventually develop into squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer that develops in squamous cells. Hence, we advise you always to visit your skin doctor to diagnose skin spots properly.
Skin Cancer – Usually, it appears as new or unusual spots, moles, or freckles. Based on the types of skin cancer, the symptoms and their appearance might vary. If you notice changes in your skin spots or moles, you must not delay consulting your doctor at a skin clinic in Johor Bahrufor a proper diagnosis.
Causes of Age Spots
Usually, excess melanin production can cause the development of age spots. Skin experts do not know the exact causes of age spots; however, some patients might have a genetic disposition to them. If someone in your family suffers from age spots, you are likely to develop this condition.
The other possible causes of age spots are skin ageing and exposure to ultraviolet rays – sun exposure or tanning beds. Therefore, you are likely to develop age spots in the areas that receive higher sun exposure, such as the face, back of your hands, shoulders, upper back, and forearms.
Symptoms of Age Spots
Patients with age spots are likely to experience the following symptoms. Let’s discuss them further.
Colour – Age spots can be light brown to black. Moreover, they may darken a shade deeper after being in the sun.
Texture – The skin spots have the same texture as your skin. As a result, they are flat to touch, and you will not experience any pain. They appear on parts of the body that receives the most sun exposure.
Size – Age spots can be of varying sizes – from small spots, and freckles to an inch in diameter
Grouping – They may appear as single spots or in a group
Shape – The age spots can be typically round or oval with defined edges
Prevent the Appearance of Age Spots
You may not prevent age spots; however, the skin specialist in JB suggests that with the help of the following tips, you can reduce your chances of developing age spots to a great extent.
Avoid stepping into the sun from mid-morning to late afternoon, as the sun’s rays are most intense.
Apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, even if the weather is cloudy. You may consult your dermatologist to select the right product based on your skin type.
It is better to apply sunscreen for at least half an hour before stepping out. If you sweat a lot, we advise you to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.
Wear long-sleeved clothes, hats, etc., to protect your skin from harsh sun rays.
Diagnosis of Age Spots
Usually, age spots don’t need medical treatment. However, certain signs can indicate it’s time to schedule your appointment with a skin doctor. If you notice any change in your age spots’ appearance, shape, or size over time, it’s better to visit a dermatologist for a proper checkup. Besides, you can also consult your doctor if your age spots have an irregular border, unusual combination of colours, or bleed.
Your skin doctor will use the following methods to diagnose age spots. They are visual inspection and biopsy and sometimes both.
Visual inspection – A skin doctor Johor Bahru will evaluate your dark spots’ colour, size, and shape to determine whether they are age spots. Further, they may also touch the affected site to check if it is raised or have a different texture than the surrounding skin.
Biopsy – If your dermatologists doubt that the dark spots on your skin might be something different than age spots, they might suggest a biopsy. They will remove a small piece of skin from the affected site and send it to the lab for further testing. Usually, doctors suggest a biopsy if they feel that the dark spots on the skin might be cancerous or have other abnormalities.
Treatment of Age Spots
As we said earlier, age spots are not serious health concerns, so medical treatments are not needed. However, if their presence bothers you, you may seek treatments to remove them. A dermatologist Johor Bahru usually offers the following treatment procedures for age spots.
Over-the-counter medicated products
Various over-the-counter medicated creams can help reduce excess pigmentation. However, they might not be as effective as other prescription creams or other medical procedures. When buying such OTC creams, consider the ones that contain glycolic acid, alpha hydroxyl acid, kojic acid, etc.
Your dermatologist might prescribe creams with hydroquinone or retinoids to help fade your age spots. These creams might take several months to show visible results. Besides, as these creams can make your skin sensitive to UV damage, you must wear sunscreen both during treatment and afterwards, and even on cloudy days.
A skin specialist in JB might offer the following treatment procedures for age spots. You can ask them about your concerns to determine which treatment will provide optimal results. Let us discuss these medical procedures further.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment
The light waves pass through your skin to target the melanin pigment and break them during this procedure. Patients may experience temporary redness and swelling after each treatment session. However, it will not prevent you from performing your regular activities. It is a safe and effective treatment for age spots. Usually, doctors perform consultation and patch tests before beginning the treatment procedure.
Proper aftercare can help you get the optimal result from this treatment procedure. After the first half an hour, your doctor may advise applying an ice pack to the treated site for about 10 to 15 minutes every hour for the next three hours. Besides, it is better to sleep with your head in an elevated position on the night of your treatment to prevent swelling. Moreover, staying well-hydrated can also help avoid swelling.
Skin doctors also recommend washing your face with a gentle cleanser and warm water after the treatment. You can wash your face twice daily and pat your face dry from the next day onward. Your face may resemble a case of minor sunburn. However, it is temporary and can last for a few hours or days after the treatment. Experts suggest that you must wait till the redness subsides before applying makeup.
Besides, your dermatologist may also recommend the following for the best results from IPL.
Avoid exfoliating your skin sooner, as it can cause skin inflammation and delay the healing process.
Avoid taking hot showers or baths – it can also cause swelling and inflammation.
Refrain from picking the darkened area that has started to flake – it can cause scarring.
Avoid sun exposure as it can harm your sensitive skin
Avoid strenuous activities for the first two days after treatment
Moreover, skin doctors might also advise keeping your skin well-moisturised. Follow your doctor’s advice regarding the skincare products you should you to improve the recovery process.
Your skin doctor Johor Bahru can also offer chemical peels to treat age spots. Your doctor will use various chemicals to remove the outermost skin layer during this procedure. Patients may experience dryness, redness, stinging or burning sensation or even mild swelling.
Your dermatologist will review the patient’s medical condition. Further, they discuss with their patients the expected results, possible risks, etc. If you have any concerns about the treatment, feel free to ask your doctors about the same.
You can ask them about the treatment goals to determine the depth of chemical peel treatment. In addition, inform your doctor if you have a history of scarring, facial x-rays, persistent cold sores, etc. Moreover, your doctor may advise you to avoid ibuprofen or Vitamin E medications at least 10 days before the procedure. Further, they also advise avoiding medications with glycolic acid and retinoids.
You may experience sunburn-like reactions in the treated area. Patients might experience redness followed by scaling in the first three to seven days. If you develop blisters after medium or deep peels, they will turn brown and peel off within two weeks. Doctors may cover the treated areas for several days. We advise patients to avoid sun exposure post treatment. In a few weeks, follow-up treatment is needed for light peels to experience continued results.
On the other hand, for medium to deep peel, you may need to receive follow up treatment every six months or yearly. Every patient is different. Hence, follow your skin doctor’s advice after each treatment session for optimal results.
During this procedure, your doctor at a skin clinic in Johor Bahru will freeze individual age spots using liquid nitrogen. It helps destroy the melanin pigments in the treated area. As a result, you will notice fading of the spots when your skin heals. However, some patients might experience swelling and blisters.
Your skin doctor may also use the light of specific wavelengths to remove the age spots. You may notice temporary darkening of the treated skin. Doctors suggest keeping your treated area clean and refrain from picking any scabs. After a few hours of the treatment session, you will notice the redness has subsided. During the first week post-treatment, you will notice the dark spots appear as speckles. They will eventually flake off within the first three weeks. During this time, you will notice that the spots have significantly faded and, in some cases, might disappear entirely.
Dermed Clinic is an aesthetic clinic JB that helps treat various skin issues. If you notice dark spots on your skin, visit Dr Muniandi for a proper diagnosis. Regardless of hyperpigmentation, melasma or age spots, he will offer the appropriate treatment to improve your skin condition.
Dr. Muniandi Velayuthan received his
MBBS (Bgm) and Dip Derm in Bangkok and has been practising
aesthetic medicine and dermatology for over 10 years. He has worked with many pioneer
dermatologists, including those from the Dr. Subra Center for Skin Diseases. He has been trained by
many prominent aesthetic physicians in the region and is a Fellow in Cutaneous and Laser Surgery
Dr. Velayuthan is known for his caring and friendly personality and genuine dedication to helping
his patients find tailor-made solutions to their skin problems.