Liver spots are sometimes referred to as,'Age Spots,' and actually have nothing to do with a person's liver.
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The brown and flat spots are many times caused by years spent in the sun. The spots are larger than freckles, are flat, and often appear on areas of a person's body that have been exposed to the sun. Age spots are harmless, although if they bother you a dermatologist can remove them. Using sunblock or sunscreen can help to prevent additional sun damage.
Age spots may appear anywhere on a person's body as they age as well. One school of thought suggests that the spots are the result of a waste called,'lipofuscin accumulato,' or brown pigment granules representing lipid-containing residues of lysomal digestion. Lipids denoting substances that are extracted from vegetable or animal cells by nonpolar or fat solvents, in other words; something that is an operational term which describes a solubility characteristic and not a chemical substance.
While the spots are believed to be harmless, the idea behind this school of thought is that they are actually signs that the cells are full of accumulated waste that is destroying cells in the person's body at a slow rate, to include the person's liver and brain cells. The natural school of thought suggests they are a surface sign of free radical intoxication of the person's body. Age spots are also known as liver spots, senile or solar lentigines, or skin spots.
Causes of Age Spots
Age spots involve changes in the person's skin color, often occurring in person's who are older. The increase in color may be brought on by aging itself, exposure to the sun or other types of ultraviolet light, or other causes. Age spots are particularly common after a person reaches the age of forty, occurring in areas that have received the most exposure to the sun such as:
- Backs of the hands
The natural school of thought suggests age spots may be caused by lack of exercise, poor diet, sun exposure, ingestion of rancid oils, or poor liver function.
Diagnosing Age Spots
A diagnosis of an age spot is made based upon the appearance of the person's skin, particularly if the person is over the age of forty and has had a great deal of sun exposure of time. An age spot appears irregular and might be biopsied in order to confirm that it is not skin cancer.
Treating Age Spots
Age spots do not require treatment in the majority of cases. People who have age spots can improve the appearance of their skin through the use of skin bleaching lotions or creams. Freezing, or cryotherapy, or laser treatment might be recommended to destroy age spots.
Age spots are not dangerous from a medical perspective. They are a permanent skin change that can affect the cosmetic appearance of the person's skin. For some, age spots may cause emotional distress. On occasion, age spots can make it hard to diagnose skin cancers.
You should call a health care provider if you have age spots you would like removed, or if you develop new symptoms, such as a change in the appearance of the age spot. There are a variety of forms of treatments for age spots.
Sunscreens: The simplest form of treatment is to protect your skin from further damage and the worsening of existing age spots through the use of sunscreen. Sunscreen is important after other forms of treatment methods as well so the spots will not recur.
Bleaching Creams, Tretinoin, and Alpha-hydroxy Acids: Topical applications prescribed by a doctor can fade smaller age spots. The treatments usually take anywhere from two months to a year, or perhaps longer.
Cryosurgery: A dermatologic surgeon uses cryosurgery to freeze the person's skin tissue with liquid nitrogen with the goal of removing age spots or skin growths.
Peeling: Peeling involves the use of a chemical solution which is applied and used to peel away the person's blemished skin. The person's hands and face commonly heal within one to two weeks time.
Dermabrasion: With dermabrasion the person's skin is lightly sanded with a special instrument in order to remove the age spot. Once the person has healed, usually after a week or two, the age spot has disappeared.
Laser Surgery: Laser surgery is a newer technique involving the use of lasers to remove age spots. A laser light is directed at the spot to remove it.
Natural Treatment Suggestions for Age Spots
A more natural means of treatment for age spots suggests that vitamin B complex plus extra pantothenic acid, or B5, 100mg. 3 times per day, is required by older persons for the proper assimilation of nutrients. Vitamin C with biofavonoids at 3,000 to 6,000 mg. Each day in divided doses is a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger needed for the repair of tissues. Lactobacilly bulgaricus can assist with digestion and liver regeneration. Bio-Strath acts as a tonic, while calcium at 1,500 to 2,000 mg. And magnesium at 750 to 1,000 mg. Each day can help as well.
Gervital H-3 is a skin cream that can be applied externally, while a capsule of lecithin taken with meals is needed for appropriate brain function and works well with vitamin E. Vitamins A, D, and E emulsion, 50,000 IU vitamin A, 400 IU vitamin D, 600 IU vitamin E – help with cleaning and rebuilding a person's system to prevent age spots. Useful herbs in regards to age spots include:
- Gotu kola
- Beet juice
- Radish, black
A diet that is high in protein and includes fifty-percent raw vegetables and fruits, as well as seeds, fresh grains, and nuts is recommended. Avoidance of fried foods, caffeine, processed foods, tobacco, and sugar is as well. Exposure to the sun is something a person should limit.
Preventing Age Spots
To prevent age spots it is important to protect your skin from the sun. There are various precautions you can pursue, such as:
- Use sunscreen in the winter too
- Use sunglasses to protect your eyes
- Try to avoid sun exposure at midday, when sunlight is most intense
- Use high quality sunscreens, preferably with SPF ratings of at least 30
- Apply sunscreen at least a half hour before exposure, and re-apply frequently
- Wear protective clothing such as hats, long-sleeved shirts, long skirts, or pants