The old age spots usually start appearing after the age of 40. However, younger people can get them also, especially if they spend a lot of time in the sun. Old age spots are generally not hazardous in any way, so there is no medical reason as such to remove them. But as they can tell a person’s age, therefore many women and men like to get rid of them for cosmetic reasons to look young and attractive.
What Are Age Spots ?
Age spots are sometimes called liver spots, which is somewhat confusing as they don’t really have anything to do with the liver. They are also known as sun spots – since the primary cause for their occurrence is sun exposure. They are flat dark patches, such as tan, brown, black or yellow spots and vary in size. When group together, they become more prominent. They generally pop up on the face, backs of hands, tops of feet, arms, shoulders, legs, upper back, chest and neck areas, which are more exposed to the sun.
Even though age spots can look like cancerous growths, but actual age spots are painless, harmless and as such don’t require any treatment. But people for aesthetic reasons want to get rid of them.
What Causes Age Spots ?
Old age spots usually occur in people having light-colored or fair complexion, but they can develop in those having darker skin as well. Following are the main causes of age spots:
(i) Age spots are produced predominantly by years of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. When skin is exposed to the sun, it triggers an upsurge in creation of cells known as melanocytes that build up melanin in the skin. On the areas of the skin that have years of regular and protracted sun exposure, dark patches emerge when melanin becomes “clumped” or is produced in excessive intensity. These dark patches are also known as brown spots, age spots, dark spots, sun spots and liver spots.
(ii) The use of commercial tanning beds and tanning lamps can also lead to the occurrence of age spots.
(iii) They occur due to genetics reason also.
(iv) Apart from UV exposure, just getting old can upsurge melanin production causing old age spots.
(iv) Some people claim factors like stress, pregnancy, vitamin deficiency may also cause this problem.
How To Get Rid Of Age Spots On skin ?
You can fade, lighten or remove age spots by using a number of different methods, such as using home remedies, skin-bleaching products, OTC and prescription products, or using professional age spot skin treatments. However, if you’re good about protecting your skin from ultraviolet light – by avoiding the sun and using sunscreen – you might be able to prevent age spots and maintain your skin’s youthful appearance. But if you go out frequently for prolonged periods without any sunscreen, you will probably get them early in life.
The professional treatments for age spots are very expensive. Each professional procedure tends to be much more expensive than the others. If money is a factor with you, here are the best selected home remedies and over the counter treatments for getting rid of age spots:
Home Remedies For Age Spots
(1) Lemon Juice For Age Spots Removal: Lemon juice contains citric acid, which can help to bleach and get rid of brown spots. Moreover, it helps in maintaining soft, clear and beautiful skin.
(i) Simply apply a little fresh lemon juice directly onto the sunspots, leaving it on for 30 minutes before rinsing off with cold water. Repeat this natural remedy twice a day for about two months to see positive results.
(ii) Another way is to mix in enough sugar with lemon juice to form a paste. Use it as a scrub onto your skin, particularly on the age spots, leaving it on for about 10 minutes, and then rinse it out. Apply this home remedy few times a week. If you have dry skin, add in some olive oil in this natural recipe.
(a) If you have very sensitive skin, direct application of lemon juice can irritate your skin, so first dilute the lemon juice with water, rose water or honey before applying.
(b) Lemon juice causes your skin to get more sensitive to sunlight and can render the age spots worse, so never go outside with lemon juice on your skin.
2. Buttermilk To Exfoliate And Fade Age Spots And Blemishes: Buttermilk contains lactic acid that bleaches the skin in the same manner as the citric acid in lemon juice. The difference is that it works without drying out your skin and can be used directly on even very sensitive skin.
(i) Apply a little buttermilk directly on your brown spots using a cotton ball and leave it there for about 15 to 30 minutes, before rinsing it out with water. If you have oily skin or acne, it’s a good idea to mix in some lemon juice with buttermilk. Apply this home remedy twice in a day.
(ii) To make this remedy more effective, mix 4 teaspoons of buttermilk with 2 teaspoons of tomato juice, since tomato juice is known to contain bleaching properties that too works as an age spot remover. Use this remedy twice in a day.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar For Age Spots Removal: Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a valuable ingredient in many homemade skin remedies, including for removing age spots.
(i) Dilute some ACV with an equal amount of water. For added benefits, you can add in honey. Apply this mixture onto your age spots leaving it on for about 30 minutes, and then rinse it off. You can also use straight ACV, but it may sting. You can apply this treatment once in a day, as ACV can dry out your skin. Use this remedy regularly for 5-6 weeks to see positive results.
(ii) Another option is to mix 1/2 tablespoon of ACV with a couple of tablespoons of orange juice, and apply on the age spots. Wait for it to dry out completely, and then rinse it off. Repeat this process twice in a day for about 5-6 weeks to see the difference.
4. Castor Oil For Removing Age Spots: Castor oil has strong skin healing properties and thus can be used for treatment of brown spots or age spots.
(i) Use a cotton ball to apply a little castor oil directly onto the affected area.
(ii) Gently massage it for a few minutes until absorbed.
(iii) Let it sit on the skin for a couple of hours, and then wash it off.
(iv) Apply this treatment once in morning and once at night and see the spots start fading away in six weeks. It will make your skin tone even as well.
Natural Beauty Tips:
(i) If you have dry skin, you can add in a little coconut oil, almond oil or olive oil for added moisturization.
(ii) To have healthy skin, add in a little vitamin E oil.
5. Aloe Vera For Getting Rid Of Age Spots: Aloe vera is known for its skin healing and skin regeneration properties. So it is usually used to treat various skin problems, including age spots or brown spots – especially those caused by sun exposure.
(i) Gently rub a little fresh aloe vera gel (for best results taken directly from the plant) on the age spots. Let it sit on the skin for about 30 minutes until soaked in.
(ii) It is so gentle that there is no need to wash it off. However, if you feel it to be sticky, then rinse it off with cold water.
(iii) Repeat this remedy twice in a day and within a month you will notice old age spots fading away.
(iv) If you don’t have access to the gel from an aloe vera plant, you can opt for aloe vera juice that you can buy from health stores or market. This too will work.
6. Sandalwood For Aging Spots: Sandalwood is known to be an anti-aging agent and an antiseptic. It helps to reduce hyperpigmentation and appearance of age spots.
(i) Homemade pack for getting rid of age spots: Mix 1 tablespoons of sandalwood powder, 1 teaspoon of rose water, and 1 teaspoon each of glycerin and lemon juice. Apply this paste onto the spots and let it dry out naturally for about 20 minutes. Wash it off with cold water. Repeat this natural remedy few times in a week, until your age spots or brown spots fade away.
(ii) Another alternative is to mix in one teaspoon of orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and contents of 1 vitamin E capsule with 1 tablespoon of sandalwood powder. Stir it well, and then apply it onto your face, leaving it there for about 30 minutes. Wash it off. Repeat this process for few times per week, until you see positive results.
(iii) Mix in a few drops of sandalwood oil with a teaspoon of olive oil or almond oil. Massage this mixture onto the affected area before going to bed, and leaving it there overnight.
7. Honey And Yogurt: Combine honey and plain yogurt to make effective homemade bleach. Simply mix a teaspoon of each and apply it onto your age spots. Allow it to dry out for about 1/2 hour and then rinse it off. It works effectively to reduce age spots. Apply this remedy twice a day.
8. Liver Spots Removal Remedy: Age spots are also known as liver spots or solar lentigines. Liver spots or age spots can be slowly and gently lightened by using this natural remedy:
(i) Peel 1 small potato and cut into 1 inch pieces. Slice 1/2 small cucumber or cut into small pieces. Put the potato and cucumber pieces in a blender or food processor along with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt.
(ii) Blend all the natural ingredients together into a thick, smooth paste of uniform consistency.
(iii) Place the mixture into a strainer and press it with the back of a spoon to remove lumps.
(iv) Lie down and place a towel under your head and neck to catch trickles, and apply the paste onto the liver spots on your face. To lighten liver spots and improve complexion on your full face, apply the mixture onto your entire face.
(v) Cover your face with a warm, damp towel after applying the mixture. Leave the area around your mouth and nose uncovered. Let the mixture sit on your face for about 15-20 minutes.
(vi) Wash your face with warm water and pat dry. You can apply a gentle moisturizer as per your needs. Repeat this process once or twice a week until you get rid of liver spots. Depending upon severity, it may take several weeks or few months to give you positive results.
Over The Counter And Prescription Products For Age Spot Treatments
Apart from the above home remedies, there are several over-the-counter treatments for removing age spots.
1. Hydroquinone: It is one of the most common and very effective bleaching creams that can substantially reduce the appearance of age spots. Its use also happens to be somewhat controversial. This cream has been banned in by European Union, due to its potential carcinogenic properties. However, some dermatologists continue to recommend it as a useful product as long as it’s used in lower concentrations.
2. Retin-A, Age Spots Remover: The anti-ager does more than just fight fine lines and wrinkles – it also improves the skin’s texture, elasticity, fade discoloration, sun damage and targets hyperpigmentation, including age spots. As brown spots begin to develop, retinol prevents them from attaining full maturity. Also it helps to remove age or brown spots by exfoliating skin, getting rid of outer hyper pigmented layer of the skin, and revealing the new, fresh skin underneath.
3. Age Spot Lightening Products: Choose a skin lightening product that also contains chemical exfoliants, such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid. They gently work by sloughing off dead skin cells, reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots and effectively brightening your skin. As they remove top layer of the skin, thereby they help penetration of active ingredients, making the lightener more effective.
Since, they contain chemicals, so can be somewhat harsh on your skin. Sometimes they cause redness and discomfort. To counter this, you should always try to moisturize your skin after using such products.
Note: While using over-the-counter products always make it sure to follow the directions given on the labels of the products.
Natural Beauty Tips:
(i) Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen daily; otherwise spots will reappear, no matter which fading remedy or treatment you use.
(ii) The sunscreen also will keep your sun spots from getting any darker or more visible.
(iii) If you decide you want to use any O-T-C treatment, you better consult a dermatologist to find out what treatment is best for you.
Do You Need To See A Doctor ?
You should have the spots inspected by a doctor, if the spots are dark, change in color, size or appearance, as these can be signs of melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer.
It’s recommended to get the skin changes inspected by a doctor, especially if a spot:
(i) Is darkly pigmented
(ii) Is rapidly increasing in size
(iii) Has an irregular border
(iv) Has an unusual combination of colors
(v) Is accompanied by itching, redness, tenderness or bleeding
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