Age Spots Overview

Preventing Age Spots

Of course, there's not much you can do about your genetic makeup, but that doesn't mean that you have to surrender to the inevitability of developing age spots. If you can minimize your exposure to the sun, you might also minimize your chances of getting age spots.

If possible, don't go outside in the sun during the hottest hours of the day. Avoid sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest and can do the most damage to the skin.

When you do have to be outdoors during those hours, always wear clothing that keeps your skin covered. Long pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats can all help shade you from the sun.

And don't think that you're not in danger just because you're not outside lounging by a pool most days. Many otherwise sun-smart people are overexposed to sunlight while they're driving or riding in the car. Most car window glass doesn't protect us from all of the sun's damaging UV rays. One solution is to install clear or tinted UV-protecting film on your car windows [source: Bernstein]. You might also consider carrying a lightweight, long-sleeved jacket in your car to wear for extra protection while driving.

Sometimes it's impossible to avoid being in the sun. At those times, your most powerful ally is sunscreen. Wear sunscreen every day you will be outdoors, even in the winter. Apply sunscreen with a high SPF rating half an hour before you go in the sun so that your skin can absorb the lotion. Don't forget to apply sunscreen to your hands, too. Sunscreen's benefits are greatest when it is reapplied throughout the day.

But what if you already have sun damage? Read on to discover what you can do to minimize -- or even eliminate -- age spots.