Age Spots

Also known as Solar Lentigos or Liver Spots -Exaggerated brown freckles typically occuring on the face or the backs of the hands

The term is pronounced - ak tin nik / keh rat toes sis. Actinic keratosis are scaley patches of different sizes appearing on skin which has been exposed to excess sunshine.

A number of them - if left untreated will progress into squamous cell carcinomas. Treatment is by cryotherapy or some kind of surgery. These lesions most commonly affect sunshine exposed areas of skin for example the backs of the hands, the top of the scalp particularly in bald headed gentlemen, the face and forehead, sometimes the upper shoulders.

As British residents we are not accustomed to strong sunshine and we tend to get our sun exposure in short bursts e.g. on a summer holiday, or on a bank holiday weekend. Our climate does not provide regular exposure and therefore our skin does not develop much natural protection. All racial groups in Britain can suffer from sunburn but those with very fair skin, multiple freckles and moles, blue eyes and ginger or fair hair are most at risk.

Sunscreens should be applied generously (and I stress generously); they should be applied at least 5 minutes before you go out into the sun; some sunscreens particularly the ones which are water-resistant should be applied at least 30 minutes before going out into the sun and you will need to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully to achieve the best protection. Please remember that sunscreens are washed off the skin by any moisture including perspiration for example whilst playing tennis; under these circumstances you will need to reapply your protection frequently throughout the day - I would recommend applications about once every 2 hours.

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