Years of sun exposure and free radical damage can lead to flat brown spots on your hands, face, and body. While age spots are harmless, most people consider them an unwelcome sign of aging.
"Age spots are really sun-induced freckles," said Robert E. Clark, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Dermatologic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology Unit at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. “They commonly appear on the backs of the hands.”
You can also see them along the shoulders (where someone has had significant sun exposure) and on the face. Age spots are common in older people but someone who's had significant sun exposure can get them in their late twenties, thirties and forties.
Even a little bit of sun worshipping can cause age spots later in life. Sunlight contains ultraviolet rays that cause suntans and burns. As time goes by, tanning causes more pigment to be deposited in the skin. This eventually leads to flat, brown skin lesions known as age spots. They're also called liver spots or sun spots.
The good news: age spots are harmless. They're benign and they don’t become skin cancer or premalignant skin lesions. But because some skin cancers such as melanoma can look like age spots, you should ask your doctor to examine your skin during your annual checkup.
However, age spots won’t vanish. Fortunately, you can make them less noticeable with a little help from horseradish and vinegar. Mix together one teaspoon of grated horseradish root, 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon vinegar, and 3 drops of rosemary essential oil .This mixture will exfoliate the top layer of your skin. Dab it onto your age spots with a cotton swab once or twice a day. Stop once your spots have lightened noticeably.
If your age spots aren't too dark or large, over-the-counter skin-bleaching creams containing hydroquinone can help. One good product is Lumnaderm that lightens skin and eliminates unsightly age spots, blemishes and hyperpigmentation.
You can also ward off age spots by wearing sunscreen and taking a multivitamin that contains free radical fighting antioxidants like vitamins C and E. Check out www.lumnaderm.com for more information.
Sharon Bell is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premier online news magazine www.healthnfitnesszone.com.