Weird Things That Happen to Your Skin as You Age

Actinic Keratosis

Ultraviolet light from the sun or from a manmade source like a tanning bed causes these raised, crusty growths. You’ll probably have more than one. Most turn red, but some can be tan or pinkish. See your doctor if you spot them: They can turn into cancer if not treated. The doctor may prescribe a cream, remove them with surgery, or freeze or burn them off.

Age Spots

Also called liver spots, these small dark patches often show up in places that get lots of sun, like your face, hands, shoulders, and arms. They’re more common if you’re over 50, but you can get them if you’re younger and you spend a lot of time outside. They don’t require treatment, but your doctor may take a sample to make sure it isn’t cancer.  He can lighten them with bleaching products or remove them if you want. To prevent them, use sunscreen and avoid the sun.

Cherry Angioma

These small, red bumps or growths can show up anywhere on your body, but they’re more common on or near your chest, belly, and back. They don’t hurt, but they might bleed if they get hit or scraped. They’re usually fine left alone, but your doctor can remove them with a laser if you don’t like the way they look.

Solar Elastosis

Long-term sun damage can turn your skin yellow and cause bumps and deep ridges. It affects people of all skin tones but it’s more obvious on light skin. It’s worse if you light up: The sun only affects the top layer of your skin, but tobacco smoke causes damage deeper down. If you have this condition, don’t smoke. Stay out of the sun -- or do all you can to protect yourself from it.