Liver Spot Causes

We are all getting older...

As people get older, their skin starts to develop age spots. These so-called liver spots (which have no relation to the liver) usually are scattered in areas of the body that are most exposed to the sun, such as the face, arms, and chest.

So, what causes liver spots ?

Liver spots usually start to appear when people reach their 40's. People become more susceptible to these spots as they age because their bodies can no longer regenerate enough skin cells to protect them against ultraviolet rays. This also prompts the body to produce more melanin as a defense mechanism against radiation.

However, older people are not the only ones who suffer from these skin discolorations. Even younger people, who love staying outdoors, can have sun spots, which look more like freckles than actual liver spots. Fair-skinned people are more prone to having these blemishes because they don't have as much melanin, which defends the skin from UV rays, as dark-skinned people.

Getting Rid Of Liver Spots

People prefer to get rid of age spots because they look like unsightly blemishes on their skin. Those who would like to have their spots removed usually go for the following options:

Laser Surgery for Liver Spots

This is said to be the most effective way to treat these blemishes. Most people avoid it, though, because it can be a bit pricey; some specialists, for example, usually charge around $100 per area. However, those who would like to go for this option are advised to consult with a dermatologist prior to their treatment to ensure that they are free from skin cancer.

Chemical Peel for Age Spots

This requires the application of an exfoliant to remove the spot-ridden surface of the skin. Patients who undergo this procedure may experience some itchiness at the outset, but this goes away after a week or so. Moreover, patients are advised to stay indoors for the duration of their treatment to avoid any unpleasant side effects.

Bleaching Creams

This is the cheapest and most convenient option for removing age spots. Whitening creams are readily available in department stores or - in the case of medically prescribed topical treatments - in the office of one's dermatologist. Some creams, like kojic acid and hydroquinone solutions, may seem to work. But, according to Dr. Eric Bernstein, Clinical Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Medical Director of the Mainline Cosmetic Laser Center, creams don't work on lightening the spots; rather, they will only lighten the areas around the spots.

Liver Spot Prevention

because we want to enjoy the sun

Before starting any kind of whitening treatment, it is always best to consult with one's physician to check for allergic reactions to certain dermatological solutions. In the case of chemical peels and whitening creams, they may have certain ingredients that could cause inflammation or some other skin disorder. It also helps to check for signs of skin cancer. If it is cancer, it will require more extreme treatments and, possibly, some chemotherapy.

While age spots naturally occur, they can be prevented if people take measures to reduce their exposure to the sun. This doesn't necessarily mean that one can no longer go on sunny vacations. It's alright to chill at the beach so long as one has effective sunscreen and some protective covering on hand.