What Are Age Spots (Liver Spots)?

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When we hear the word liver spots—we are often swayed by the word “liver” that gives us the automatic perception that this has something to do with our hepatic organ. The truth about liver spots is that they are not, in any way, related with our liver. Nor do they relate with any liver diseases or conditions. Apart from being called liver spots, these are also referred to as age spots, lentigos, senile spots, sun spots, etc. Age spots commonly appear on the face and in other parts of the body, and are relatively common among people with fair complexion. The reason why these are called as liver spots is because they resemble the color of the liver.

What Are Age Spots Causes?

Age spots or liver spots have no definite cause although their appearance has been highly linked with too much exposure to the sun. This is the reason why most of these liver spots or age spots appear in the face, arms and shoulders since these are commonly exposed to the sun. Because of exposure to the UV rays which the sun gives off, the skin tries to compensate and protect the skin from such sun exposure, thus, hyperpigmentation of certain areas in the skin happens, due to the effect of melanin. Melanin, as we are aware of, controls the pigment of our skin and is responsible for our complexion, hair and eye color. Apart from too much exposure to sunlight, age spots or liver spots are also caused by aging.

What Are Age Spots Treatment

-          Bleaching Agents. Age spots can be treated in several ways. First, making use of bleaching soaps, creams and the like will lighten and make your complexion fairer, most especially the part where age spots are located. Hydroquinone is a chemical which aids in bleaching the skin but before making use of these products; make sure you have yourself tested for allergic reaction.

-          Another form of age spots treatment is through the use of cryotherapy. Cryotherapy involves the freezing of the age spots using liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen freezes the age spots and sort of “kills” them by the temperature.

-          The use of laser in removing these age spots is also common. The age spots are exposed to laser and killed prior to removing them. It may take several sessions before these age spots are fully removed from the skin.

However, these treatments are not that widely used because age spots are not medically dangerous. The only threat that they pose is more into the aesthetic and cosmetic ego of the person.

What Are Age Spots Prevention

There are several ways by which you can protect yourself from developing these age spots later in your life. First is to wear protective clothing when going out in midday or when the sunlight is scorching hot. Hats, long sleeved shirts, pants and the like are indispensable clothing materials which you must have in store. When the sun is at its peak, try your best not to go out and expose yourself. More importantly, if there is indeed a need for you to go out, equip yourself with quality sun screens containing at least SPF 30. Sunscreens should be applied at least half an hour before exposing yourself to the sunlight.

 

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