You’re getting older (don’t worry, we all are) and, unfortunately, so is your skin. What’s that weird new brown spot there? And why are your veins popping up in new places, darker and thicker than ever?
The truth is, everyone experiences signs of aging on their skin. While many of these symptoms are purely aesthetic (and maybe a little vanity-bruising), some may be signs of more serious health problems. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the world, after all. If you notice any precancerous skin conditions, consult your doctor right away. To put things in perspective, check out these five weird things that happen to your skin as you age:
Age Spots/Liver Spots
These harmless brown spots are extremely common, occurring in 90 percent of Caucasians over 60 years old. They are directly related to aging, as well as to sun exposure. They don’t require any treatment, although your doctor may test to make sure they aren’t skin cancer. The only prevention? Avoid spending excessive time in the sun. If that’s just not an option for your lifestyle, take the necessary precautions when you are in the sun to protect your skin, like using (and re-applying) sunscreen, wearing long sleeves, and donning a stylish sun hat to shade that pretty face of yours.
Sometimes called the barnacles of aging (isn’t that a pretty picture), seborrheic keratoses are wart-like growths that start to appear on persons middle-aged and older. Most people who have these will probably have more than one. While they may be unsightly and even resemble pre-cancerous skin growths, these keratoses are actually harmless. Nevertheless, if you notice any kind of abnormally-sized, scaly, or large moles or warts, you should always get them checked out by a dermatologist to make sure they are benign.
These are the skin spots you really want to look out for, as they could develop into skin cancer and need to be removed right away. The culprit? You guessed it, too much roasting your skin in the sun. Actinic keratoses are raised, crusty, and often red. They are the most common type of precancerous skin lesions.
Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
Weakened or broken blood vessels are the cause of these veins suddenly appearing where they weren’t before. Varicose veins are swollen and twisted, while spider veins are small clusters of backed up blood appearing under the skin. Both aren’t necessarily signs of a serious problem but may cause significant discomfort. They usually appear around the legs and feet. Try out some compression socks to relieve the ache or consult your doctor if the pain gets worse.
These pesky flaps of skin appear most commonly on the chest, back, neck, armpits, or around the groin. Almost everyone will develop a skin tag at some point in their lives, though they often pop up once you reach middle age. These growths aren’t dangerous but may hurt when rubbed or snagged on clothes or jewelry. If you’ve got a particularly annoying or painful one, it can be easily removed by a dermatologist using a variety of methods, including freezing, snipping, or burning (ouch).
This article is for entertainment purposes. Please consult your physician or dermatologist if you notice any skin irregularities.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is committed to the health and well-being of our viewers, which is why we initiated Sinclair Cares. Every month we’ll bring you information about the “Cause of the Month,” including topical information, education, awareness, and prevention. September is Healthy Aging Month.