New: A treatment designed for rosacea-prone skin

New: A treatment designed for rosacea-prone skin

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Définition taches solaires, taches de vieillesse, lentigos solaires.

Lentigos or age spots: what are they?

Resulting from an increased production of melanin in the skin, age spots or lentigos are benign but can be aesthetically bothersome for some individuals. Why do these spots appear? How can they be prevented?

Age spots, in brief.

This is about pigment spots caused by a disruption in the pigmentation process (melanogenesis). The melanin

Pigmentation spots can have various origins (hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, sun, genetics). Lentigos or age spots are most often due to repeated exposure to the sun's UV rays. They generally appear around the age of 50, or sometimes even prematurely at 40 years old. Indeed, with age and regular sun exposure, the functions of the melanocytes are disrupted. The production of melanin becomes chaotic, which causes the appearance of sun spots on the most exposed areas such as the hands but also the face, shoulders, décolleté, arms or even the back.

Age spots appear as small, flat spots ranging in colour from light brown to black. Etymologically, lentigo refers to lentils. They are much more prevalent in individuals with a light phototype.

Note : Solar lentigines are, by definition, benign lesions, but some can evolve into precancerous lesions. This is then referred to as Dubreuilh's melanosis, sometimes also called "malignant lentigo". Even though the mutation from a benign lentigo to a malignant one is a lengthy process, it is essential to regularly visit your dermatologist to monitor the potential progression of your age spots.

What treatments are available?

Age spots are often sensitive to friction. They can start to peel or bleed. To remove them, the dermatologist may resort to liquid nitrogen, which is applied directly to the brown spot. This method is accompanied by a burning sensation and the skin may appear red and swollen. However, within about ten days, the healing will be done and the sun spot will have disappeared. This method is very effective on light phototypes. However, on a darker skin, there is a risk of residual halo hyperpigmentation.

Furthermore, other methods exist such as laser radiation, flash lamp, or even chemical peeling. It is up to the dermatologist to assess which method is most suitable.

How can we prevent age spots?

To prevent the appearance of lentigos, the first step is protection. Indeed, it is UV rays that excessively stimulate melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin. Therefore, before each sun exposure and even every morning at the end of your beauty routine, apply sun protection to your face but also to your hands and décolletage. We tend to focus on the face and neck when we apply this care, but the skin on the hands is just as delicate and exposed!

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