Seborrheic  keratosis  is the medical name for age spots. You may have noticed the appearance of little brown spots on the backs of the hands, arms or face.  These dark pigmentations are not harmful nor are they a sign of skin cancer. These spots are most commonly seen on people over the age of 40 and are related to aging and sun exposure. Some older people may refer to them as “liver spots” due to the similarity in color to raw liver.

What are Age Spots?

Age spots are normally seen in places that get a lot of sun exposure. Sun bathing and UV rays are known causes of skin cancer and cell damage. Years of sun tanning and the use of tanning beds damage the skin and can give it the appearance of tanned leather as you get older. Common treatments for age spots include skin bleaching creams to lighten or fade them, treatment with natural home remedies or concealing them with makeup.

Can Age Spots and Sun Damage Be Prevented?

The best way to avoid getting these spots is to stay out of the sun but that is not always possible. Of course you cannot avoid the sun altogether but when outdoors always use a sunscreen with the highest SPF protection and some type of cover up. A hat to shade the face and a shirt with long sleeves will keep dangerous UV rays from damaging your skin.  Don’t forget to protect your eyes as well; sun damage to the eyes contributes to the occurrence of cataracts. Sunglasses with the darkest tinting are the best for UV protection. http://www.glaucoma.org/treatment/a-guide-to-sunglasses.php

Can They Be Covered or Concealed with Makeup?

There are several products on the market that claim to cover scars, wrinkles, age spots and acne. Some of them work and some of them do not. If you would like to try this as a way of covering the age spots be sure to thoroughly research the products in question before buying to avoid wasting money on something that doesn’t work. Look for products that not only cover blemishes and skin imperfections but improve the skin and give you a younger appearance.

Natural Remedies for Age Spots

Age spots are harmless but they can be an annoyance when trying to retain a youthful appearance. Some natural remedies have been reported effective at fading age spots.  Natural ingredients are the safest option to use on your delicate skin.  Harsh chemicals can burn or irritate the skin so it is best to use natural ingredients whenever possible. Here are a few suggestions you can try to eliminate the spots.

  • Lemon Juice. Lemons contain an acidic juice that is often used as a natural bleaching agent. Dip a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply to the spots twice a day. The results may be seen gradually as most natural remedies take longer than conventional treatments.
  • Dandelions. Dandelions are mentioned quite often in natural remedies and folk medicines. Break the top yellow head off and apply the milky-white sap from the stem. Apply it twice per day or as often as possible depending on your supply of dandelions.
  • Vitamin E Oil. Prick a capsule of Vitamin E and apply the oil directly to the spots. Repeat several times daily. This helps not only with age spots but keeps the skin smooth and soft.
  • Diets Rich in Vitamin C. Citrus fruits contain Vitamin C which is an antioxidant that keeps the body healthy and repairs the damage caused by free radicals.

Traditional Treatments for Age Spot Removal

Conventional removal treatments include laser removal, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and creams made to fade the spots. Some of these treatments irritate the skin and some harsh chemicals may damage sensitive skin tissues.  If considering one of these methods, please consult with a physician as to their safety. Natural substances are always safer than their chemical alternatives.

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