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Age Spots

Solar Lentigos & Freckles
Alternative names: Liver spot, age spot, senile freckle, sun spots (singular: lentigo)

Some people might still describe a splattering of freckles across a child's nose as "cute." Even in childhood, those brown spots are actually a sign of sun damage. As we age, freckles become more prominent and are often joined by noticeable age spots affecting many areas: the face, neck, chest, arms and hands. 

The word lentigo simply describes a patch of skin that contains a greater density of cells called melanocytes which produce a dark pigment called melanin. There are many different types of lentigo, but the commonest are caused by the sun – solar lentigos. These are non-cancerous brown spots which are thought to develop in response to sun-exposure, especially in those with fairer skin. They can appear anywhere but tend to form on the face, neck, shoulders and forearms. Unlike freckles they usually appear after the age of 30.

The main difference between a freckle and a solar lentigo is that in a freckle only the amount of pigment being produced by melanocytes is increased, rather than the actual number of cells.

Adopting good sun-protection habits is the best way to prevent freckles and solar lentigines from developing or worsening. Cover up, especially between peak times from 11-4pm during hot days and wear sunscreen on exposed sites.

At MBA Clinic we offer IPL treatments spread over 3 sessions with each session lasting approximately one hour and causing minimal discomfort. For 48 hours following treatment redness and swelling may be expected.