Solar Lentigo

Solar lentigo are better known as age spots or liver spots and are a skin condition.  Solar lentigo can appear on any part of the body and are especially a nuisance when they appear on the face or other exposed body parts.  These spots usually appear on body parts that have had exposure to the sun for a considerable time.  Fair skinned people will be more prone to experiencing solar lentigo than those with a darker complexion.  Those who experience solar lentigo will have spots that vary in color from gray to a darker brown, but it it is wise to remember that not every pigmentation mark will be solar lentigo.  If you have spots that are changing color, you need to seek the advice of a dermatologist as this may mean you have something more serious occurring.

The most common cause of solar lentigo is over exposure to the sun.  The ultraviolet rays that the sun gives off will accelerate the production of pigment and the melanin in our bodies will work to naturally protect our skin.  When there is an excessive production of melanin concentrated in the outer layer of our skin it will appear as solar lentigo, or age spots.  As you age, the melanin accumulating in your skin over the years will also cause these spots.  Therefore, both the young and the old can experience solar lentigo depending on their sun exposure and some other factors.  Some chemicals can cause age spots as well.  Chemicals that are present in some vegetables like limes can cause the skin to become more sensitive and when you are exposed to the sun afterwards, the body may react by producing more melanin which causes the solar lentigo.  Not to mention, there are also some medicines that have the same effect on the skin, causing it to be extra sensitive.  These medicines can also increase skin pigmentation production on their own leading to age spots.

Various treatments are available for solar lentigo.  Retin-A is an often used treatment and is applied topically to solar lentigo to remove the spots.  The surface skin will peel and new skin with healthy cells will appear and the spots will be gone.  This treatment is usually used with the combination of glycolic acid.  Laser therapy is another choice of treatment as well as cryotherapy.  Dermabrasion is also widely used and is quite effective for removing all sorts of skin pigmentation problems. A cream called Ag3derm is now available which removes age spots in 14 days.