Age Spots (Are They Harmless?)

Skin Discolouration and Lesions


What Are Age Spots?

 What are those unsightly brown spots that appear on the back of our hands, especially as we age?  They can also appear in other areas, such as our face, upper back, upper chest, arms, shoulders and legs.  These spots are also called ‘age spots’ and ‘solar lentigines.’  They vary in size and usually appear in the areas most exposed to the sun.

Age spots are very common in adults older than 50.  But younger people can get them too, especially if they spend a lot of time in the sun.

True age spots are harmless and don’t require medical care.  For cosmetic reasons, age spots can be lightened with skin-bleaching products or they can be removed with laser treatment.


Age spots range from freckle size to about a ½ inch (13 millimetres) and can group together, making them more noticeable.  Age spots:

 Are flat, oval areas of increased pigmentation

Are usually tan, brown or black

Occur on skin that has had the most sun exposure over the years.

When to See A Doctor

It is best to have any new skin changes evaluated by a doctor, especially if the spot:

Is darkly pigmented

Is rapidly increasing in size

Has an irregular border

Has an unusual combination of colours

Is accompanied by itching, redness, tenderness or bleeding.


Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  The sun’s rays are more intense during this time of the day.

Use sunscreen fifteen to 30 minutes before going outdoors. Apply broad spectrum sunscreen that provides protection from both UVA and UVB light.  Use (SPF) 30 or higher and reapply every two hours – or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.

Cover up. For protection from the sun, wear tightly woven clothing and a broad-brimmed hat. Consider wearing clothing designed to provide sun protection.  Look for clothes labeled with an Ultra-violet Protection Factor (SPF) of 40 to 50 to get the best protection.

In the event brown spots do happen to appear on those areas mentioned, the laser is a great modality for removing them.  The Alexandrite laser reduces the appearance of lighter spots and is very effective in removing spots with more pigmentation in them.

How Does It Work?

 The Alexandrite emits focused light energy, 755nm, which targets the pigmented areas or spots, causing them to fade away within a 2 to 3-week period.  One treatment is usually sufficient, but 2 to 3 treatments are sometimes necessary.  Treatments are very successful.

Best Timing for Laser

The best times are fall, winter and springtime to get brown spots removed.  The sun is not strong, weather is cooler and less exposure to sun.

If you are considering brown spot removal, now is your window to getting that accomplished.  Summertime, generally mid-June to mid-October is not the best time to have laser brown spot treatment unless the area has not been exposed to the sun and can be covered during the healing process after laser treatment.

Give us a call or e-mail us to book your brown spot treatment today!