What are Age Spots? What Causes Age Spots on Face, Hands, Legs?


What causes age spots? What causes age spots on hands and legs and on face and skin? What causes brown and white age spots? Answering these questions helps in preventing various forms of age spots  by taking care of skin to avoid them. Details to these and more are as discussed.

What Are Age Spots?

What are age spots? These mostly go by a number of names. They are also referred to as liver spots or solar lentigenes. These are dark spots which are common in adults especially those beyond 40years of age. They appear on the parts of the body that experience the highest sun exposure.

What is the cause of age white and brown spots on face
These dots can appear earlier than expected in 20s and 30s.

Although the spots tend to appear over time, they are not signs of chronological aging but of skin aging as a result of an over exposure of the skin to damaging sun rays. They result from an increase in normal pigment cells which in turn give rise to an overproduction of melanin. These spots pose no risk and should only be cause for alarm if their features start changing. This could be a sign of skin cancer.

What Causes Age Spots on Hands and Legs?

Age spots are flat gray, black or brown spots which vary in size. They are as a result of the buildup of melanin. It is one of the long term effects of exposure to sunrays. These are therefore not so much related by the passage of time as is evidenced by the fact that skin which is covered up rarely gets these spots. Although they can be found in young people, they mostly affect individuals over 40 years.

The reason they are called age spots is because they make one look old. They become most visible on exposed parts of the body. These unsightly marks are mostly caused by prolonged exposure to ultra violet rays. They lead to the destruction of skin cells since they cause the release of free radicals. The oxidation process then leads to age spots.

The same risk is faced when one gets exposure to the rays from tanning beds. The risk is the same as they all lead to the destruction of melanin cells. This is what leads to the golden tan look. Other than this, there is an increased production of melanin to protect the skin from the rays.

Some of the other contributing factors are a poor diet. This will lead to the rise of toxins on the skin. As a result, the cells get oxidized. Lack of exercise could lead to age spots on hands and legs as well. Poor skin care could contribute to this as well. When venturing out in the sun, it is important to wear sunscreen on both the legs and hands.

Another contributing factor would be heredity. People who come from families where people get them are likely to follow the same route. Light skinned people as well are more predisposed to get the spots. Finally another thing that can be attributed to what causes age spots on hands and legs is age. Those advanced in age will get them easily than younger persons.

What Causes Age Spots on Face and Skin

What causes age spots on face and skin? Age spots on the face and generally on the skin occur from many years of direct exposure to sunlight. This fastens the skin’s aging process. Frequent use of tanning beds and sunbathing are great contributing factors to this. The direct exposure to sunlight causes the skin to have spots.

The effects of the sun may not be felt or seen when one is still young. The negative effects keep accumulating up to a certain point where the face and skin give way and spots are seen. This is worsened by the fact that skin thins with age. Genetics as well play a part in this. Where one’s parents and close relatives had or have these spots, it is highly likely that one will get them.

Where the spots are not as a result of genetic causes, it is possible to prevent spots on skin and face. Ensure you use a skin product with high sun protection factor. To protect the face further, wear wide rimmed hats. The rest of the skin can be protected by wearing clothes that are lose and which cover up most of the skin such as trousers or long skirts and long sleeved tops.

What Causes Brown Age Spots?

Flat brown age spots appearing on the skin could be sunspots or freckles. With freckles, they appear earlier. Sunspots on the other hand result from exposure to sunlight. These make one look older than they are.

Although brown age spots are associated with aging since they appear after the age of 40, they result from years of skin neglect. This leads to skin damage through sun rays. Brown spots tend to appear in the form of dark spots which start by appearing on the face before spreading to other areas. Although these may not be harmful in any way, they affect one’s appearance and could lead to a feeling of inferiority among peers. [SOURCE: Dermatologynwhouston.com]

The cause for these is excessive production of melanin. Factors contributing to this include advancement in age, adverse effects of medication, pregnancy, hormonal imbalance.

What Causes White Age Spots?

White age spots are not to be confused with vitiligo. These occur as a result of idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis (IGH) which is an acquired loss of pigmentation in a localized area. They appear on sun exposed areas such as shoulders, neck, face, legs, arms and shins.

The cause for these is not known but it is suspected that they are due to the natural aging process which leads to a reduced number of melanocytes. It is also suspected to be caused by sebhorrhoeic keratosis or sun damage.


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