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Demystifying Skin "Age Spots"

By Craig M. Wax, DO

 Skin "age spots," as they are commonly called, are not related to skin age at all.  They are permanent damage to the skin caused by sun and other ultraviolet (UV) light exposure like tanning beds.  This sun damage is cumulative over years and worse with blistering sunburns and continued sun exposure.

 Sun exposure brings about many color and texture changes in the skin over time.  It causes wrinkling, thin skin and other cosmetic problems.  Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are two forms of skin cancer.  The worst form is malignant melanoma which commonly recurs and can kill.

 What can be done to protect yourself against such potentially awful diseases?  Iím glad that you asked!  Preventive skin care is our only defense against these maladies.  The good news is that it is easy to protect your skin by avoiding sun damage.  No tanning by the sun or tanning beds is safe.  Avoid unnecessary exposure especially during peak hours of 10:00am to 3:00pm in all seasons.  Skin should be covered with clothing, i.e. long sleeves and hats with wide brims.  Sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 should be applied to face, arms and any other exposed area prior to venturing outside.  It should also be reapplied frequently to assure maximum protection.

 These techniques will allow you to take control of your skin health and avoid unsightly and harmful problems.  Do you want proof?  Take a look at how smooth and silky your skin is on the non-sun exposed areas, i.e. below the belt line.  With good skin care throughout your life it is possible to keep your skin beautiful and healthy.  Prevention is our most powerful tool to avoid unsightly and potentially deadly skin damage.

Craig M. Wax, DO, LLC of Mullica Hill, NJ provides information on health, nutrition, family medicine, preventive medicine, wellness, natural treatments, alternative medicine, integrative medicine, osteopathic medicine and just plain common sense.
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