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Age Spots

What is it?

Seborrheic keratoses are brownish colored spots that can appear commonly as we age, on the face, neck, chest, arms and legs. As the skin ages, the outer most layer of skin cells can start to clump up on top of another, which is what causes a brownish grey appearance. When the layers get thick, it can create a warty or bumpy age spot. These are entirely benign and do not progress into skin cancer, but most patients are bothered by them cosmetically.

Lifestyle Factors

While the ageing process and genetic predisposition are the main factors in seborrheic keratoses appearing, sun exposed skin ages prematurely. Therefore, some patients see more of these age spots in areas that have been chronically sun exposed.

Skincare Adjuncts

Sunscreen is always a good idea to slow down premature ageing of chronically exposed areas such as the face, neck, backs of hands. Seborrheic keratoses will not fade or clear with use of lightening or bleaching lotions (unlike freckles or pigment from sun damage), so a proper diagnosis can save you a lot of time and money.

 Treatment Options

Treatment OptionKey BenefitAverage Number of TreatmentsAmount of DowntimeComfort Measures
ElectrodessicationTreats bumpy or “warty” age spots1-2The treated spot takes about 1 week to dry up and then peel offTopical anesthetic cream advised
Q-Switched 532 laserTreats flat age spots very precisely 1-2Bruises the spot for about 1 week. The brown spot will dry and peel off within 5-7 daysNo numbing required