Age spots, also known as liver spots, are flat, tan, brown or black spots that appear on the skin. They vary in size and are most commonly seen on the face, hands, shoulders and arms — areas that get the most sun exposure. You may associate age spots with adults over the age of 50, but young adults can get them as well, especially if they spend a lot of time in the sun.
What Causes Age Spots?
Age spots are caused by years of exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun, and using a tanning bed can also contribute to the development of age spots. The pigment in the upper layer of the skin that gives your skin its normal color is called melanin. When UV light comes in contact with the skin, the rays accelerate the production of melanin, creating a tan on the skin to help protect deeper layers of skin from damage caused by UV rays. Age spots appear on areas of the skin that have had frequent and prolonged sun exposure because the melanin is produced in particularly high concentrations.
So what’s your best defense against age spots? Proper protection from the sun. Anyone can develop them, but you are more likely to get age spots if you have light-colored or fair skin, or if you have a history of frequent or intense sun exposure or sunburns.
True age spots are harmless, but if you notice spots that have changed in appearance, check in with a doctor. It may be a sign of melanoma. Visit a health care professional if you notice that your age spot:
- is darkly pigmented
- is rapidly increasing in size
– has an irregular border
– has an unusual combination of colors.
– is accompanied by itching, redness, tenderness or bleeding.
Home Remedy for Age Spots
Treatment for age spots can include medications such as bleaching creams, laser therapy, freezing, dermabrasion or chemical peels. If you’re unhappy with your age spots, there is a much more natural option to help lighten them.
Dr. Doug Willen, author of Quantum Paleo, has provided a quick and natural solution to age spots. He recommends Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with onion juice. Yep, onion juice! Onions contain several antioxidant compounds that help to neutralize free radicals in the body.
The other ingredient in this concoction, apple cider vinegar, contains alpha hydroxy acids that will remove dead skin and reveal the healthy skin underneath. Many swear by using it on their skin to maintain a natural glow. So here’s how it works:
- Take one fresh onion and dice it.
- Pulverize it using a mortar and pestle.
- Put the liquefied onion into a blender.
- Add in the apple cider vinegar and blend.
- Use a cotton ball to apply the remedy to your age spots.