Age Spots or Melanoma? What’s the Difference?

Last Updated on January 16, 2020 by Ellen Christian

Age spots or melanoma? If you have a spot on your hand and you’re not sure whether or not you have an age spot or melanoma, keep reading for a few simple ways to tell the difference. Of course, if in doubt, it’s always best to see your doctor for his decision.

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Age Spots or Melanoma? What's the Difference?

Age Spots or Melanoma

Several years ago, I noticed an odd, raised spot on my stomach and immediately freaked out and made an appointment with the doctor. It turns out what I had was seborrheic keratoses which is a waxy, raised growth that is associated with aging, sun exposure and is hereditary.

After speaking to my mother, I learned that she has them as well. I had originally worried about melanoma but my doctor said that the seborrheic keratoses are harmless and not related to melanoma at all.

Age Spots or Melanoma? What's the Difference?

Is it an age spot or skin cancer?

Age spots are harmless dark spots that are caused by a build-up of pigment. Ultra-violet rays can increase the production of melanin which is a skin pigment. Certain areas of our body that have had frequent exposure to the sun may develop age spots or liver spots as we get older.

Age spots happen when melanin is over-produced. Their official name is lentigines and age spots or liver spots have nothing to do with your liver at all. Scroll down for some tips on fading these annoying age spots.

Age Spots or Melanoma? What's the Difference?

Melanoma spots

Melanoma in the early stages can look a lot like age spots or seborrheic keratoses. Here are a few warning signs that may indicate you have melanoma. Be sure to make an appointment with your doctor to be certain.

  • Asymmetry – If the growth is not even on both sides, it is more likely to be a melanoma.
  • Border – If the border of the growth is uneven, have it checked.
  • Color – If the growth is more than one color, it’s best to have your doctor look at it. The darker the growth, the more worrisome.
  • Diameter – The larger the size of the growth (larger than a pencil eraser), the more likely it is a melanoma. BUT, seborrheic keratoses can be larger than a pencil eraser and melanomas can be smaller. Ask your doctor.
  • Changes – Sudden changes in any spot or growth can be a reason for concern. If the size, color, itchiness, bleeding or pain level have changed, make an appointment with your doctor.

a woman putting cream on her hand

Can an age spot turn into melanoma?

An age spot will not turn into melanoma. However, a melanoma growth can begin where you have an age spot just as much as it can begin anywhere else. People who have exposed their skin to a great deal of the sun’s ultraviolet rays are more likely to have both.

That’s why it’s so important to wear sunscreen every time you go out in the sun. When in doubt, ask your doctor.

Age Spots or Melanoma? What's the Difference?

Do age spots go away?

Age spots won’t go away on their own. However, there are ways that you can alleviate the appearance of age spots. If you’re sure you have an age spot, you can use a simple age spots treatment applied to the spots three times a day.

The H-Age Spots formula contains a homeopathic ingredient along with hazelnut oil, citrus limonum peel, wild carrot seed, lavender flower bud, rosehip seed, and sesame seed oil.

essential oils for skin care

Age spots or melanoma? If you’re wondering is it an age spot or skin cancer, please speak to your doctor. But, if you’re certain what you have are age spots, try the age spots treatment above to fade your age spots. This treatment can be used on your face, legs or hands. Be sure to avoid the eye area.

Improve your skin

No matter what age you are, take time to care for your hands today. The Simply Hand Oil is 100% natural, safe and gentle. It improves the skin’s natural moisture cushion while relaxing comfort and glow.

If you’re wondering if you have age spots or melanoma, please speak to your doctor first.  Learn more about how to choose a safe full spectrum sunscreen.

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