Age spots, also known as Sun Spots, Liver Spots, or Solar Lentigines are flat, light to dark brown spots appearing on skin due to years of exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun or use of tanning beds.
Basically, these spots develop when the skin produces melanin in high concentrations on certain areas to protect the deeper layers of skin from UV damage. Furthermore, at times, the skin produces excess melanin due to the aging process.
In addition, free radical damage (aids in the buildup of cellular debris called lipofuscin), poor diet, and poor liver function tend to worsen the problem. Plus, intake of certain antibiotics, diuretics, and antipsychotics are likely to increase your chances of developing sun spots.
The most common areas that tend to develop age spots are the face, neck, shoulders, forearms, backs of the hands, top of the feet, and upper back. They are usually harmless but ugly to look at.
These brown spots are similar to freckles but unlike freckles, they do not fade on their own. It is believed that fair skinned individuals are more susceptible to age spots. Moreover, they are particularly common in individuals over the age of 40.
How to Get Rid of Age Spots
Given below are 7 remedies to reduce benign age spots.
- Lemon Juice
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Aloe Vera
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Onion
- Red Currants
- Dandelion Root
- Cosmetic Treatments
- Lemon juice works as a natural bleach to lighten dark spots on skin. Thus, you may apply freshly squeezed lemon juice on the age spots for about 20 minutes to remove them. You may also use a combination of lemon juice and yogurt. Moreover, you may mix a little almond oil in lemon juice and apply it on skin two times in a day.
- Soak the skin in warm water for about 20-30 minutes to soften it. Then, dip a Q-tip in hydrogen peroxide solution and apply it on the affected area. Rinse it off after 15-20 minutes. Repeat this procedure three days in a week for a few weeks. Alternatively, you can soak a cotton ball in the liquid, put it on the affected area and wrap a bandage around it so that it stays on skin overnight. It is best to use 12% hydrogen peroxide solution. You can get it easily from any beauty supply store. Before following this treatment, make sure you test your skin’s tolerance to this liquid by applying it on a small patch.
- Generously apply pure aloe vera gel on your skin for 30-45 minutes to diminish sun spots naturally. Follow this remedy twice daily for at least three to four weeks.
- Mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in one teaspoon of onion juice. Dip a cotton pad in this solution and apply it on your age spots two times in a day. Alternatively, you can simply dip a piece of onion in apple cider vinegar and rub it on the affected area. If you do not want to use onion juice then, replace it with orange juice. Follow the treatment for at least five to six weeks.
- Mash a quarter cup of unripe red currants and add a tablespoon of organic honey in it. Apply this mixture on your age spots. After 30 minutes, rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Rub dandelion root sap on the affected area two to three times in a day. Furthermore, you can take dandelion root extract and add dandelion root powder in your face masks.
- Age spots can be removed using cosmetic treatments like laser therapy, dermabrasion, cryosurgery, and so on. Before going for any of these treatments, though, you may try chemical peels, skin bleaching creams, and other topical medications like Retin A (tretinoin), hydroquinone creams, creams containing glycolic acid and licorice extract, etc. to fade the spots.
Tips to Prevent Age Spots
- To avoid age spots, it is essential to wear a sunscreen with SPF 15 or more whenever you step out in the sun, especially during the peak hours, that is, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Re-apply after every two to three hours. Besides, wear long sleeved shirts, hats, long skirts, long pants, etc. to keep the skin covered and hence, protected from sun exposure.
- Adequate intake of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, and selenium, whether through healthy diet or a combination of diet and vitamin pills can help prevent age spots. Prefer to eat raw foods, including nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables. Foods rich in antioxidants, in particular, help avoid free radical damage that worsens age spots.
Dos and Don’ts
|Do minimize sun exposure. Sun’s UV rays can cause damage to your skin even through your car windows. Thus, consider installing tinted or clear window screen to block UV rays.
||Do not go for tanning.
|Do avoid cigarette smoking and alcohol consumptions as they generate free radicals.
||Do not forget to moisturize your skin after bleaching treatments.
||Do not ignore your neck and check when taking care of your skin to eliminate signs of aging.