Tuesday, July 13, 2010


The problem of removing age spots is not as difficult as the removal of moles and birth marks because age spots, or liver spots, develop much nearer to the surface of the skin. The melanin pigment that gives moles and many birthmarks their brown color is produced in the deep layers of the skin, just as the ink for a tattoo is introduced into the deep layers where skin cells are not regularly shed and replaced in the natural process of skin healing and regeneration.

To understand how to get rid of age spots, it helps to know that, although the color is still being produced by melanin production, the cells producing the melanin lie closer to the surface and can often be literally peeled away and replaced by healthy skin cells from below. This is why using acid peels or liquid nitrogen for removing age spots, treatments that remove the top layer of skin, are relatively successful. Even with these treatments, however, the continuing appearance of liver spots may be an ongoing problem because these areas of dark pigment are the result of overexposure to the sun.

Other commercial products that are commonly used for removing age spots contain bleaching agents – chemicals that react to the melanin to remove the brown color. Creams containing hydroquinone are bleaching creams; hydroquinone has been used for this purpose for many years, though some researchers question the safety of using this chemical over the long term. Because of these doubts, and because of the harshness of liquid nitrogen or acid treatment, many people look to natural remedies for the answer to how to get rid of age spots.

The most promising of the current natural treatments use antioxidant vitamins as agents for removing age spots. As a group, Vitamins A, C, D, E and the minerals selenium and zinc, taken as supplements and applied topically to the skin, are recommended for good skin health. Of these, Vitamins A and C seem to be the stars for evening out skin tone. Applied as a daily topical cream, these vitamins appear to gradually fade areas of darker skin tone over time. The research on this is relatively recent, and the way it works is still not fully understood but it looks promising as a natural remedy for how to get rid of age spots.

More traditional means of removing age spots have mostly used acidic fruit juices applied as daily washes, or applied by laying pieces of fresh fruit on the affected skin. While most explanations describe how to get rid of age spots by removing the top layer of skin with acidic fruit (like the acid washes discussed above), it’s tempting to suggest that the typically high Vitamin C content of acid fruits might play a role in the success of these traditional treatments.

Regardless of which treatment you choose for removing age spots, use care and good judgment: if you experience redness or other irritation discontinue the treatment; if the spot you are treating looks unusual or appears to grow, see a medical doctor immediately; as always, protect your skin from the sun, the source of most skin damage as we age.

Source: http://www.healthguidance.org/authors/454/R.-Drysdale

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