You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or primary care doctor. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred to a specialist in skin diseases (dermatologist).
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
- When did you first notice the spots on your skin?
- Did the spots appear gradually or quickly?
- Have you noticed any other changes in the appearance of your skin?
- Is the condition itchy, tender or otherwise bothersome?
- Have you experienced frequent or severe sunburns?
- How often are you exposed to sun or UV radiation?
- Do you regularly protect your skin from UV radiation?
- What kind of sun protection do you use?
Questions for your doctor
Questions you may want to ask your doctor include:
Feb. 24, 2011
- What suspicious changes in my skin should I look for?
- If the spots are, in fact, age spots, what can I do to improve the appearance?
- What results can I expect?
- Goldstein BG, et al. Overview of benign lesions of the skin. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 13, 2010.
- Schaffer JV, et al. Benign pigmented skin lesions other than melanocytic nevi (moles). http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 13, 2010.
- Ortonne JP et al. Treatment of solar lentigines. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2006;54:S262.
- Melanoma (malignant melanoma). The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec10/ch128/ch128e.html. Accessed Dec. 14, 2010.
- Kang HY, et al. The role of topical retinoids in the treatment of pigmentary disorders: An evidence-based review. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2009;10:251.
- Draelos ZD. Skin lightening preparations and the hydroquinone controversy. Dermatologic Therapy. 2007;20:308.
- Facts about sunscreens. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media/background/factsheets/fact_sunscreen.htm. Accessed Dec. 14, 2010.
- Sun-protective clothing: Wear it well. Federal Trade Commission. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt094.shtm. Accessed Dec. 14, 2010.