Dark Spots on Your Skin Could be more than Aging

You might think that the brown spots on your skin are only freckles from sun exposure or normal age spots from the natural aging process, but some of these dark discolorations are serious health problems. Today, many senior citizens are finding strange dark spots on their skin because there wasn't a concern about sunlight exposure long ago. It is important to understand what the dark spots on your skin are along with preventing additional discolorations from the exposure to sunlight.

Dark Spot Type 1: Liver or Age Spots

Age spots or liver spots are noticeable on the individuals who have fair skin, and these discolorations tend to occur as someone ages. Most experts believe that these skin discolorations are caused by the exposure to ultraviolet light, and you may notice the spots on your arms, hands, and face. While you may not like the way that age spots look, the discolorations are harmless, but you can lighten the spots with special skin care products, or alternatively, you can undergo a laser treatment to lighten the spots.

Dark Spot Type 2: What Is a Skin Mole?

You may have skin moles on your body in an assortment of places, and if you have fairer skin, then these spots are easy to see. Sunlight exposure and other factors can change a normal mole into a dangerous skin lesion. One of the most important things that you can do is to map your moles on paper, and this is a service that is provided by a dermatologist, or you can also have a friend help you with the process. It is essential to look for moles on every region of your body, including underneath your hair or in the folds of the skin. Any changes in the size, color or shape of a mole can indicate a problem such as cancer. You should also contact a dermatologist when a mole disappears from your skin without having laser treatment.

Dark Spot Type 3: Brown Crusty Skin Lesions

If you notice pink, gray or brown crusty lesions on your skin, then you need a checkup to determine if these are actinic keratosis spots. This is a precancerous condition that can change to cancer rapidly, so fast treatment is essential. A dermatologist can collect a small skin sample to perform a biopsy to determine if there are precancerous cells in the lesion. Treatment for this condition includes removing the lesion with a laser, application of special medications, chemotherapy or a freezing procedure.

Dark Spot Type 4: Mottled Skin Pigmentation or Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation tends to occur on darker skin tones, making it different from other types of ultraviolet sunlight exposure. Extensive skin damage from sunlight exposure can lead to having an excessive amount of melanin in the skin. Older individuals are more likely to have this condition because their bodies cannot regulate the melanocytes in the lower level of the skin. Dermatologists can provide prescription medications or laser treatments to reduce the appearance of mottled skin pigmentation.