Friday, July 16, 2010

Removing Age Spots – Some Effective Treatments

This hub introduces some of the methods can be used to remove age spots, as well as some basic knowledge of why age spots appear.

Many older people have brown spots on the surface of their skin, the spots can be grown on the face or back of their hands. This is what we often called age spots (or senile plaques). Most people begin to have age spots at around the age of 50, age spots are more common among older people who begin to gain weight or in menopausal women who are more vulnerable to age spots.

How do age spots occur?

Most people will have more and more age spots as they grow older, at the same time, the age spots area is also gradually increasing. So, how do age spots appear? What are the main causes? Generally speaking, there are three possible reasons that have been considered to be closely related to the formation of age spots. The first one thinks that, when people are getting old, their bodies begin to have lower metabolism, this will cause accelerated cell function decline over a period of time, it also tends to slow blood circulation. The above factor coupled with the dietary changes, such as changed proportion of animals and plants in the diet, disorder of fat intake and so on, produce a substance called lipofuscin (lipofuscin is also called age pigment, it’s a substance that consist of yellow autofluorescent granules, it only appears in unstained tissues), lipofuscin has tiny brown particles accumulated in the basal layer of skin cells. These brown particles are the products of the process of lipid peroxidation. Aging cells lose their functional to decompose these particles, leading to excess accumulation of brown granules in the basal layer of the cells in the human body, thus forming age spots on the surface of the skin.

The second view is that, the activity of superoxide dismutase – a type of anti-peroxidation substance – is reduced, thus relatively increasing the amount of free radicals in the human body, free radicals can stimulate peroxidation and in the long-term, tend to poison the body tissues. There is also another theory, in which sunlight exposure and chronic inflammation of the skin are largely blamed for the appearance of age spots. It’s more like the seborrheic keratosis (a benign form of skin tumor in older people), with lipofuscin pigment patches on the skin mainly due to long-term exposure to sunlight and skin aging and inflammations. Age spots are harbingers of aging, lots of age spots on the skin show that the body has entered the aging stage.

How to prevent and remove age spots?

Although age spots are benign in nature and will not pose any danger to the health, however, they can change people’s looking, indicate aging and easy to bring psychological pressure on the elderly. In order to prevent and remove age spots, you can try the following methods:

1, To prevent age spots, first and foremost, you should stay away from direct sunlight exposure and abnormal stimulations on the skin. You are recommended to use sunscreen to reduce sun exposure and any facial skin irritation. In case there is a rash on the skin, do not scratch as this will only worsen the situation and increase the growth of age spots. To prevent the formation of age spots, it is best to adjust the fat content of the diet, so that the total fat intake account for no more than 50% of the total calories. At the same time, you can also take some anti-aging drugs, such as vitamin E, which can prevent the formation of lipofuscin, scavenge free radicals and prolong life.

In addition to taking a certain amount of vitamin E, older people can also eat a lot of foods rich in vitamin E, such as vegetable oil, grains, beans, dark green plants as well as liver, eggs and dairy products. The elderly can prevent age spots by adjusting their diets and eating more fruits, fresh green vegetables and carrots, potatoes, leeks, cabbage, etc., and eat less greasy food, all these foods have been proved to be very effective in the prevention of age spots.

2, there is very little possibility of malignant transformation of age spots, so age spots do not need to be treated, however, you should be very careful to distinguish age spots from melanoma, as the latter has a higher chance of turning into malignancy (usually a sign of malignancy is a sudden increase or spread out of the pigments on the skin, it should be treated immediately). Generally, since age spots are not malignant, they do not require any treatment, however, for those who want to look younger, frozen or laser treatment can be used in removing age spots.

3, laser age spot treatment is by far the most effective method to get rid of age spot safely, the technology uses a focused, high pulsed laser beams to reach cells with deep colors and large pigment molecules, the high-energy laser beams will, instantly, break the large colored spots into very tiny pigments, and through the absorption of laser energy, destruct the age spots pigments. Usually, the treatment only needs to be done once and the results will last for a long time without leaving scars on the skin surface.

4, if there is a small number of age spots on the skin, you can also take freezing method, or cryotherapy, to freeze off the spots.

5, fluorouracil cream can also be used externally to remove age spots.

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.