Pigmentation in the form of age spots, liver spots, senile lentigines or solar lentigines are a common problem with ageing.
It appears that people may be genetically predisposed to getting age spots.
The most obvious causes of pigmentation are skin damage from exposure to the sun and age spots most prevalent on the, face, décolleté, hands, arms and back.
Cutaneous ageing signs, such as age spots, become visible from as early as the twenties, especially with excessive sun or environmental exposure.
However, between the ages of 35 to 49, there is a sharp increase in the prevalence of skin changes which are clearly ascribable to photo-aging, such as pigmented spots and the discolouration of skin.
Awareness of the damaging effects of UV radiation on the facial appearance and sun protection before the age of 20 will help reduce the risks for developing age spots later in life.
Ageing skin unsettles women more than men because society believes a woman loses her attractiveness once visible signs of facial ageing set in.
However, this is changing as many men now see the advantage of maintaining healthy, blemish-free skin as well.
Characteristics of skin facial aging include fine and coarse wrinkle formation, pigmentation changes, sallow colour, dry texture, loss of elasticity, loss of skin tone, sagging subcutaneous tissues, underlying muscle hypertrophy and volume loss in the face.
Photo-ageing caused by ultraviolet light exposure tends to act more on the surface of the skin.
There are sun freckles or age spots and dilated blood vessels (often referred to as “broken” blood vessels) that lead to an overall uneven tone and discolouration.
There are a number of solutions, of which in some patients a combination may be necessary.
With the introduction of photo rejuvenation treatments and exfoliation treatments such as Medical Laser and Chemical peels, as well as a particular type of Daily Skin care products, virtually any patient can be a candidate for a brightening of their skin and lightening of age spots depending on the areas of concern.
It is important that your skin is properly assessed to determine the best course of treatment/prevention as the needs of each patient differ.
As most people know, effective sun block is vital. This prevents further damage and in the case of certain medical sunscreens, can assist in the repair process. This is important, especially if you are embarking on any type of skin treatment. This process is easy to start even in young babies and children, to prevent future skin problems.
The current trend is to start with photo-rejuvenation treatments early so as to prevent the deterioration of skin colour and texture as one gets older.
The less damage you have as you age, the better your skin will be in older age. However, regardless of age, if the correct treatment programme is initiated and maintained, excellent results can be obtained.
For further information or assessment, contact Sinclair Aesthetics on 011 453-3450/2 or visit www.sinclairaesthetics.co.za