Age spots, also called as liver spots are yellowish, brown or gray flat spots that look like large freckles and are usually caused by aging, too much sun, impaired liver function, and a dietary or nutritional deficiency. Age spots can appear on any skin that has been exposed to the sun, such as the back of the hands, face, feet and back. They are extremely common during and after middle age and are an indication of free radical intoxication. As they take years to form, eliminating them takes time too. Usually these spots are not considered dangerous; treatment is necessary for cosmetic reasons only. There are home remedies as well as medical procedures performed by dermatologists.
Dermatologists usually prescribe creams containing Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA). Topical application of certain skin-lightening creams as well as over-the-counter bleaching creams and lotions is also found to improve the skin texture. Cryotherapy, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion or laser treatment may be also be recommended to get rid of these the liver spots.
Self care tips and Home-Remedies
* The best way to prevent age spots is to stay out of the sun. Use sunscreen, wear hats and protective clothing, and stay indoors during the middle part of the day when the sun is strongest. If you already have these spots, sun protection will help prevent further damage.
* Improve your diet to include fruits and vegetables, especially in raw form. Drink sufficient water.
* Avoid sweets, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and junk foods.
* Avoid rancid oils. Refrigerate all after opening; store nuts and seeds in the freezer or refrigerator; store grains in a cool place; avoid all fried foods as the hot cooking oils contain substances that damage the skin.
* Take beta carotene rich foods such as carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mango, cauliflower, etc. and potassium-rich foods such as banana, potato, coconut-water, curd, soyabeans, orange, pumpkin, sweet potato, almonds, spinach, ground-nuts etc.
* As vitamin E is found to slow ageing and aid in tissue repair, consume vitamin E rich foods such as AlmondsCashewnuts, Peanuts, sunflower oil, sesame oil, peanut oil etc. Also, include vitamin C-rich foods such as guava (Amrud), papaya, Amla (Indian Gooseberry), grapes, oranges, tomatoes, etc in your diet.
* Rubbing fresh aloe-vera juice or Pure Aloe Gel on the spots will help fade them. Use the gel twice a day for a month or two. Aloe gel is also great for treating burns, sunburns, freckles and scars from pimples.
* Combine two parts of apple-cider vinegar with one part of orange juice and apply to the spots with a cotton ball.
* Buttermilk is not just a skin cleanser but also helps in getting rid of suntans and fade stubborn spots. Dab buttermilk on the spots, twice a day everyday. The spots should disappear within a month.
* Try using the Manjistha root powder. Add ½ a tsp powder to plain hot water and drink. Used externally as a paste by itself or with honey, it heals inflammation and gives the skin an even tone and smoothness.
* Dab some fresh lemon juice on the spots twice daily. Slowly the spots will fade away.
* Grate an onion and squeeze it through cheese cloth so that you have one teaspoonful of juice. Mix with two tsps of vinegar and rub into the spots. Do this two times a day until the spots disappear.
* Apply castor oil on the spots in the morning and in the evening, and rub well into the skin. The spots should disappear within a month.* Take chick peas/Garbanzo beans(preferably fresh), mash about 1/3 cupful and add a little water. Alternatively, you can use Chickpea flour (Besan), mix it with water and then smear this paste on the spots and leave it there until it dries.