What Causes Age Spots?

Age spots are caused by ultraviolet light. When you go out in the sun, the rays make the body produce melanin at a faster than normal rate. Melanin is the substance that is located in the epidermis, and it gives your complexion its natural colour.

Extra melanin in the skin makes it turn darker after exposure to the sun. How deeply tanned you can become depends on how much melanin you happen to have. Age spots and melanin are related because age spots are caused by excess melanin becoming clumped in one spot.

Age spots don't develop over night. In most cases, it takes a number of years of exposure to the sun's UV rays for them to develop. A middle-aged woman who sunbathed in her youth (especially without SPF protection) or used tanning salons regularly is more likely to develop age spots than someone who limited their exposure to the sun's rays.

Once again – you are your mother/family!!! Generic history plays a part in how likely it is that you will develop age spots as you reach middle age. If your mother or close relatives have a large number of age spots, then you are more likely to develop them.

As the body ages, it produces melanin in higher amounts. Age spots are the result of these higher levels of melanin in the body and are just another factor in the ageing process.

Other changes to the skin that may happen around the same time are surface lines, wrinkles, dry skin and redness on the nose, ears or cheeks. The skin may also take on a more translucent appearance.