Liver spots, known also as age spots, are caused by exposure to the sun, thus they occur in people over 55 most often. Here is why they occur, how to fade them, and how to prevent them. Home remedies, medications, sugery, folk remedies discussed in brief.
Everyone has a different name for the brownish yellowish spots that have a tendency to appear on the hands and face of middle-aged people. Age spots, also called liver spots or solar lentigo are pigment discolorations that appear in the shape of round and oval spots. Many people call these beige blemishes age spots because they appear on middle-aged and older people. This rational is not entirely correct. Just as wrinkles and leathery skin are often attributed to aging, liver spots are wrongly grouped in as a natural affect of aging. Liver spots appear as a direct result of sun exposure. They appear in middle-aged to elderly folk most often since this category of people has generally spent more time in the sun than younger generations. Liver spots, in fact, are quite common in people over fifty-five.
The most targeted regions for liver spots are the hands, although they can occur virtually anywhere. The face, back, arms, feet, shoulders and anywhere that the sun touches are vulnerable. While many people may consider liver spots an aesthetic embarrassment, they are painless and harmless. There is still reason for concern; however, as early stages of skin cancer can appear as blameless liver spots. It is strongly recommended that you seek a doctor’s guidance if you notice a spot, particularly if it has shown signs of growth or darkening. Bleeding, itchiness and thickening are not definite signs of cancer, but they need to be checked out. If you have liver spots you should have them checked routinely.
So, why do these spots appear? When the skin is exposed to the sun the body naturally tries to protect itself. The body produces an excess of melanin to block the sun. Melanin is the pigment that then appears as a spot on the epidermis layer. The spots are caused by an over-exposure to the sun or forms of ultraviolet light. In addition to sun exposure, a dietary or nutritional deficiency may be the cause of a liver spot. An increase in potassium rich food, vitamin C, selenium supplements, and zinc tablets may prevent or decrease liver spots.
Aside from dietary changes, is there anyway to fade these unsightly spots away? If a doctor has ruled out the possibility that the spots are cancerous there are several treatment options. The easiest and most affordable way of fading liver spots is repeated application of vitamin E oil to the spots. There are also several skin bleaching lotions and creams on the market for you to try if you and your doctor agree it is ideal. If you are very dissatisfied with the appearance of a spot you may wish to consider a more serious treatment. Cryotherapy is a process by which a laser is used to freeze and destroy the liver spot. This treatment is very effective, although it cannot prevent the re-growth of a spot. Again, always seek a doctor’s approval before you make a medical decision.
There are countless home remedies that people suggest for combating liver spots, most of which have never been medically proven to work. Still, you may find them easy and helpful to try. Onion juice combined with apple cider vinegar has been suggested as a liver spot ointment. Similarly, using chickpeas with water on blemishes has been said to prove effective. Black walnuts slashed will produce therapeutic juice according to some, as will crushed dandelion sap smeared on your skin.
Some may consider these folk remedies, but perhaps they are worth trying. While vitamin E oil application and laser surgery are the two most often used methods of battling sun blemishes, the best option is prevention. Always wear good sunscreen. Sunscreen-at least 15-should be applied at least one-half hour before you go out in the sun. It is recommended that you reapply the lotion frequently throughout the day. Sunscreen should be worn in all seasons, not just summer. Hats and sunglasses are important limiters of sun exposure, as are gloves and clothing that protects your shoulders and chest. Do not use after-shave, skin lotions, Vaseline, or perfumes before you go out in the sun since these items can increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. Research has suggested that many people have a hereditary predisposition to develop liver spots, so if your mother and father have liver spots, take precaution. Even if they do not, take precaution—your skin will thank you.
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