Age spots are a common skin condition that usually appears after the age of 50. Often, these areas of increased pigmentation are referred to as liver spots, yet they have nothing to do with a person’s liver. Instead, age spots tend to occur on areas of the skin where a person has had the most sun exposure. If you’ve noticed these spots popping up on a senior loved one, here’s what you should know about their symptoms, prevention, and treatment.
Typically, age spots are most prominent on seniors with fair skin. However, they can occur in younger adults and those with darker skin pigmentation. An age spot will be a flattened circular or oval area of the skin that may be brown, black, or tan in color. They’re usually found on areas of the body that have been exposed to the sun, such as the backs of the hands, the shoulders, and the face.
Age spots are one of a variety of common age-related conditions, some of which can affect older adults’ ability to live at home in comfort. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
When to Be Concerned
Age spots are usually harmless and don’t require treatment for reasons other than aesthetics. However, any unusual skin lesions should always be evaluated. Signs that age spots require medical evaluation include the following:
- Irregular borders
- Rapid changes in size
- Multiple colors
- Itching, redness, or bleeding
Similar to moles, any of these symptoms could signify melanoma, which is a serious form of skin cancer.
Caring for their skin can be challenging for seniors who have limited mobility or health conditions such as arthritis. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Rhode Island families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Prevention & Treatment
Age spots are caused by prolonged sun exposure, so the best prevention is to wear sunscreen every day. Once they occur, treatment is aimed at fading the spots. Over-the-counter fading creams containing glycolic acid and other ingredients that have shown some success at fading age spots are available at most drug stores. However, many of these cause skin irritation. Medical treatments include prescription medications, laser therapy, dermabrasion, and chemical peels. Due to the side effects associated with these treatments, it’s important for seniors to have professional evaluations to determine if treatment is necessary for their age spots.
Older adults who need help with transportation to medical appointments can benefit from the help of home caregivers. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Rhode Island Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. Call one of our friendly Care Managers at (401) 284-0979 to schedule a free consultation.