Skin Care & Anti-Aging Advisor
Age spots are not caused by aging but by sun exposure. Age spots commonly occur on the:
- back of the hands
Age spots are common in older people, but someone can get them in their twenties, thirties, and forties if they have had significant sun exposure. Other contributing factors for developing age spots include:
- a poor diet
- poor liver function
- diet rich in oxidized oils
Age spots are a result of the overproduction of lipofuscin, a dark substance produced by our cells.
Liver Spot Treatment
Liver spots are rounded, flat, brown, or black patches of skin that look like large freckles. They range from about 1/8 inch to 1 inch in diameter. The spots are not cancerous. Some people develop liver spots at an early age, but they are more common in older people. Liver spots can develop on:
- your face
- back of your hands
- your arms
Liver spots are actually called lentigo and have nothing to do with your liver. Usually they occur on sun-exposed areas. You tend to get more liver spots as you get older. The best way to avoid liver spots is to stay out of the sun.
Facial Blemish Treatment
Blemishes are caused by:
- hormonal activity
- overproduction of oil by the oil glands
- excessive shedding of dead skin cells
- bacteria buildup in the pores
- reactions to cosmetics, foods or medicines
A blemish occurs when bacteria finds a ideal environment for growth on your skin. This is most often dead skin cells and excess oil in the glands. The bacteria reproduces and irritation and inflammation occurs causing the red and swollen blemishes.
Excess oil is often caused by hormonal activity. When your body produces too much oil, dead skin cells can block the pore. Bacteria grow inside the blocked pores causing irritation and inflammation. The body's immune system then responds, sending lymph to the inflamed area causing swelling and your pimple.
Freckles are flat:
- tan spots
- brown spots
- black spots
that appear over time on areas of skin that have been exposed to the sun. Freckles are more common among those with lighter skin and those who sunburn easily. Freckles are commonly found on the face and hands, or any other part of the body that has been overexposed to the sun.
Freckles are caused by cells in the skin that produce a pigment called melanin. Melanin gives skin its color. When sunlight hits the skin it causes more melanin to be produced to protect the skin layers underneath. When melanin builds up in one place a freckle can form.
Sunlight also causes freckles already present to become darker. Wearing protective sunscreen and clothing can help slow the appearance of freckles. You should see a dermatologist if you have any spots on your skin that look suspicious.
Sun spots are lentigines. These sun spots are harmless, flat, brown discolorations of the skin which usually occur on the:
- back of the hands
These spots may start appearing when your are about 40 years of age. Sun spots are a sign of sun damage. They are caused by excessive exposure to the sun over many years. To prevent age spots use liberal amounts of sunscreen before the age of forty, avoid the sun, and wear protective clothing.
Sun spots are harmless and do not need to be treated unless they are changing or getting bigger than the surrounding sun spots.
Melasma is pigmentation that occurs mostly on the face. It is usually seen in women and is induced when the hormone estrogen stimulates the melanocytes to produce pigment. Women who are:
- on birth control pills
- pregnant or
- breast feeding
seem to be more prone to get this pigmentation. Once you get this type of pigment, sunlight will continue to activate it. Sun exposure makes these patches and spots even darker.