As we age, the appearance of brown spots may appear anywhere on our body. Areas that are constantly exposed to the sun tend to accumulate most spots including the face, arms, hands and shoulders. The immoderate melanin production in the skin further debuts brown spots and may even darken these areas. These spots are usually defined as flat and may vary in size with a brown, black or grey color. Called as brown spots, age spots, sun spots, liver spots, melasma or any different terms, the hyperpigmentation on the skin is usually triggered by different external and internal factors. Here are several factors that are related to having age spots.
The main cause of acquiring brown spots is our constant exposure to the sun. The melanin production of our skin functions as our protection form the harmful UV rays of the sun. When we are constantly under the sun, our skin has the tendency to overproduce melanin which results to hyperpigmentation and brown spots. Once this cycle of pigmentation started, it will be difficult to prevent and stop it.
As we get old, our skin becomes fragile and sensitive. The elasticity of the tissues weaken, making the skin get easily bruised by the sun and other factors. The ability to regenerate and repair also becomes slower. As the skin’s ability to sustain its healthier state decreases, it is now more prone to the appearance of brown spots.
If you come from a family with fair or light colored skin, you are most likely the victim of age spots. A lighter skin has lesser melanin production, meaning you are prone to having age spots compared to people with darker skin. You can see people who are very young can start having brown spots because of their genetics.
Hormonal changes also triggers hyperpigmentation. As a woman enter into her different stages of life such as pregnancy and menopause, even taking birth control pills, the hormonal changes occur. As hormones shifts, melanin synthesis also tends to overdrive resulting in a more patchy skin called Melasma.
A direct result from an injury causes pigmentation on the skin. When our skin is injured, our body’s typical response is inflammation. This will then trigger the melanin production resulting in brown patches. Typical skin injuries include:
- Skin rashes
- Insect bits
- Improper use of laser treatments
Long term smoking accelerates the process of aging. Smokers tend to have drier skin, facial lines and yellowish complexion compared to non-smokers. The health of the skin is also damaged making it effortlessly to acquire age spots.
Brown spots are harmless. Start preventing them by applying sunscreen daily, limiting sun exposure, and wearing protective clothes and gears. And if you already acquired these stubborn spots, there are several options you can try. To lighten and reduce the appearance of brown spots on your face, you can apply creams or undergo treatments. To know more, read the article on hyperpigmentation treatment and best creams for age spots.