So what is it that causes age spots? Is it age itself? Well, not exactly. In fact, sun spots would probably be a more appropriate term for them. Most times, but not all, age spots are caused by over expsoure to the sun but genetics can also play a role as well. They are called “age spots” because most times we do not see them develop until we are near or over 40 years old but its the accumulation of sun exposure over all the years that cause them to develop. Many people misunderstand a sun tan to be healthy. In truth, excessive exposure to the sun is never good for your body. You see, your skin contains melanocytes. Melanocytes are the cells that produce the pigment melanin, which help protect our skin from the sun. While melanin gives skin its color, excessive melanin can produce age spots.
There are times, as we age, that are bodies may produce extra melanin, resulting in age spots, however, most times it is due to over exposure to the sun and its harmful UV rays. This is the reason that parts of your body that get the most sun exposure, your face, neck and arms/hands are those that seem to get age spots. Tanning beds and sunburns themselves are high risk for development of age spots. Others are just gentically inclined to get age spots, regardless of how much sun they expose themselves to.
If your a more fair skinned individual you will be even more prone to age spots because your body is conditioned to produce melanin to protect your skin.