When you are young, all you ever think and feel about is how invincible you are. You tend to abuse your own body, drinking, smoking and eating as much as you can, trying out new and different things, and even going under the sun without the necessary protection.
As you grow older, your body starts to get back at you. All of a sudden, you develop certain medical conditions and brown spots appear on your skin. And these spots, which may also be known as liver spots on face, can be annoying to look at in the mirror. But what exactly are these brown spots on skin? Is it dangerous? Can you still get rid of them?
What Are Liver Spots?
The term, “liver spots,” can be alarming. However, these spots have nothing to do with your liver and liver function.
Also known as age spots or solar lentigines, liver spots on face are light brown to black patches that are usually flat and oval that appears on your face and skin.
Although they vary in size, these spots can grow on the face, hands, shoulders and arms. In other words, on areas that are most often exposed to the sun.
Liver spots are most common on adults age 40 and above. However, even younger people who are always under the sun are also at risk of having liver spots in their early age.
Liver spots on skin are generally harmless and do not require treatment. But if you start to feel conscious and embarrassed about them or for any other cosmetic reason, liver spots can either be lightened or removed. But if you noticed that the spots are too dark with irregular borders or have changed in appearance, it might be helpful to consult a doctor. This may be a sign of melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer.
What Causes Liver Spots On Face And Skin?
The primary reason for liver spots on hand and skin is the years of exposure to the ultraviolet light from the sun. Sunlight tends to thin the skin and damages the important proteins it needs to preserve the skin’s quality, such as collagen and elastin. This explains why liver spots appear on areas that are commonly exposed to the sun.
If you notice on your trips to the beach, you can easily get a tan after an hour of sun bathing. This is because the UV light speeds up the production of melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color.
Because of the sun exposure, the melanin spikes up to protect the deeper layers of your skin from the harmful UV rays.
Aside from too much sun exposure, commercial tanning lamps and tanning beds can also contribute to the development of liver spots. Also, liver spots on face occur due to the natural aging process, which is why it is common among older people. And if liver spots run in the family, then you most likely get it too.
Can I Treat My Liver Spots?
Yes, although generally speaking, liver spots on the face and other areas of your skin are harmless and require no treatment. Unless the liver spots do not appear irregular in shape or come in different colors, then you are fine.
But for cosmetic and appearance reasons, liver spots can be lightened. Here are some of the treatments available that can help you get rid of, or at least lighten liver spots on your face.
5 Treatment Options For Liver Spots:
- Skin Lightening Or Bleaching Creams. This is the easiest, most affordable and most convenient way to help you get rid of liver spots. Bleaching creams usually contains lightening ingredients, such as hydroquinone or retinoids to gradually fade the spots on your skin. Lightening creams can either be bought over the counter or by prescription.
Thanks to its most innovative skin lightening technologies, Illuminatural can get rid of your liver spots or any other dark spots in the most natural way possible.
It also promotes healthy skin cell regeneration while making sure that too much production of melanin is prevented. Plus, it does not contain harmful chemicals and ingredients too.
- Freezing Or Cryotherapy. This type of procedure uses liquid nitrogen or other freezing agents to freeze the liver spots and destroy the extra pigment.
Once the affected area heals, you will notice an improvement in its color, making it lighter.
However, freezing is only recommended for small group of age spots. At the same time, it can temporarily irritate the skin with a risk of permanent scarring or discoloration.
- Laser Therapy. One of the effective ways to remove dark spots is laser therapy. It involves the use of high energy light that targets the dark spots to destroy the melanin-producing cells without damaging the skin’s surface. Apparently, you need more than one session before you can see the results and it may take months for the effects to take place.
- Dermabrasion. Two words: sand paper. This type of procedure sands down the surface of your skin using a rapidly rotating brush. Once the skin’s surface is removed, a new layer of skin will grow. However, temporary redness and scab formation may result from this type of procedure.
Chemical Peel. This type of treatment uses an acid which will be applied to burn the outer layer of your skin and eventually the liver spots.
As your skin peels, new skin will form and emerge on the surface.
Some of the side effects include temporary irritation and a slight risk of discoloration. And just like laser therapy, several treatments are recommended for better results.
How Can You Prevent Liver Spots On Skin?
Prevention will always be better than a cure. If you don’t want to go through these treatments, then here are some of the things you can do to prevent liver spots:
- Protect your skin from the sun. Wearing sunscreen at all times, especially when sun exposure is unavoidable can really help a lot. At the same time, cover up. Remember, you and Mr. Sun are not best friends.
- Use sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Avoid going out between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The sun’s UV rays are most intense during this time.
- Use sunscreen with at least 30 SPF.
One last note – liver spots on the face and skin are not harmful. But why would you risk having one when you can prevent and protect your skin as early as now? Therefore, take it easy especially with the sun. While a bit of sunlight is good for you, too much of it can be harmful too.