Age spots – what you need to know

With age spots (lentigo solaris) there are sharply delimited smooth light brown spots. The spots are smooth and are not raised. The color can best be compared to the color of latte (cafe-au-lait). The spots are often present on the face and hands. They are often small to tens of millimeters in size. Usually several spots of different sizes are present. It is important to know that age spots are not cancerous.

Summary in 28 seconds

What is the cause?

Age spots are pigmented due to long-term exposure to sunlight, such as outdoor sportsmen, sailors, regular gardeners, bicycle tours, hikers. As a result, the skin will protect itself by means of extra production of pigment. The chance of these spots increase as people get older, often the first signs can be seen from the age of 30.

Is it contagious?

No, they are not contagious

Self-care advice

  • To prevent stains, it is important to protect with a sunscreen daily and to prevent sunburn. More about SPF
  • Always consult your doctor or dermatologist if pigmentation spots change in colour, shape and/or complaints.

What can the skin therapist do for you?

  • Laser therapy:Laser is used for pigment removal. This targets the pigment and destroys the pigment. The pigment spot disappears for 90% or completely.
  • Chemical peel:Exfoliation causes rapid exfoliation of the skin, raising and exfoliating the superficial pigment.
  • Aftercare is equally important. If you do not properly protect the skin against the sun after the treatment, there is a good chance that the spots will come back. That’s a shame. We recommend a mineral sunscreen with an SPF30. A mineral sunscreen contains Titanium Dioxide AND Zinc Oxide. This combination provides broad ultraviolet coverage, it works immediately after application and it does not cause a skin reaction. Suitable for people with sensitive skin, children and pregnant women. There are skin care products that can reduce pigment production. Cosmetic ingredients such as: Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Retinol, Vitamin C, E, Aloe Vera, Kojic Acid, Arbutin, Licorice Root, Resveratrol, Emblica, Hydroquinone, Azelaic Acid. More about pigment
Corners Of The Mouth, Tranexamic Acid Pigment Spots Targeted Pigment Serum, Spot Reducer, Pigment Spots, Sun Damage
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What can the doctor do for you?

It is important to distinguish between a pigment spot and a birthmark. A pigment spot as described here always has one beautiful light brown color, is often sharply defined and is benign. If different colors are visible in a stain, it is always advisable to have the stain assessed by a doctor. The stain as described here always has one beautiful light brown colour, is often sharply defined and is benign. The doctor can use a dermatoscope to properly assess what kind of stain it is. Via een foto is dat niet goed mogelijk.

A pigment spot as described here can do no harm. Maar het is zeer belangrijk om het verschil te maken met een lentigo maligna (kwaadaardige pigmentvlek) of moedervlek, omdat deze vlekken wel gevaarlijk kunnen zijn en uit kunnen zaaien. If in doubt, contact your doctor. Your GP can refer you to a dermatologist if necessary.

While you are here

If your doctor has diagnosed skin cancer, it can be a bit of a shock. The following conversation with the doctor is less well received or understood. After you leave the office hours, you may be wondering – now what? How can I prevent this in the future?

In the Netherlands, the number of people with skin cancer is increasing explosively. In the year 2021, approximately 82,800 Dutch people were diagnosed with a form of skin cancer. The KWF expects this trend to continue.

It is important to know which type of skin cancer you have and treatment options. The three most common skin cancers are: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (PCC) and melanoma.

After a treatment there is often a period of uncertainty. Every newly appeared spot, flake or bump gives the feeling of ‘is that another suspicious spot’. This is a frequently expressed concern during office hours and a most common reason for an early outpatient skin check. Handle symptoms for early check-up are: rapid growth, symptoms (pain or sudden itching), bleeding, color change, does not heal within 2-3 weeks and when in doubt or concerned. More about Diagnosis of skin cancer, now what?


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