Spotting Your Age

If you are like many Americans, you may have noticed brown spots on your skin as you
begin to age. They’re often called age spots, but the colored spots that develop on your skin
over time could be called sun spots. Either way, they can be a source of concern. So, what can
you do about them?

Orleans Parish Coroner, Dr. Dwight McKenna, says age spots, or the harmless, light-brown flat
spots that develop on your skin as you age, are common benign skin spots with clearly defined
edges on your face or other sun-exposed areas.

What can you do? Dr. McKenna says you can use over-the-counter skin lighteners that contain a retinoid
ingredient, which can be mildly effective in some patients.

The most effective treatment is a laser that specifically targets pigment. Keep in mind though
lasers have potential risks, including burns, scars and color change, so they should only be
used by a trained physician.

Here are some tips for you to follow:

– Wear sunscreen. Apply sunscreen every day with an SPF of at least 30, preferably higher.
– Cover up. Wear sun-protective clothing. Even if its warm, wear a lightweight cover-up to
shield your skin. Also consider wearing a hat with a wide brim.
– Prevent a repeat. Even if your spots fade with treatment, the residual spots will become
darker with ongoing sun exposure.

Be sure to take care of your skin, and if you notice sun or age spots, be sure to seek the
advice of a healthcare professional.