Age spots are mainly caused by long-term sun exposure. Although sun is the number one reason for developing age spots, smoking, a poor diet, poor liver function, and a diet rich in oxidized oils are also contributing factors.
These age spots are a result of the overproduction of lipofuscin, a dark substance produced by our cells. Age spots usually begin appearing when we are in our 30’s and, besides being unsightly, increase our risk of skin cancer. As is the case with most skin conditions, age spots are easier to prevent than to treat. Eating a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, carrots, yams, and other foods that are high in carotene will help reduce your chances of getting age spots in the first place. If you are already are suffering from age spots, don’t loose hope. There are options available to you to reduce the appearance of age spots, as well as improve the overall health of your skin.
There are several products on the market today that will help in diminishing the look of age spots. Fade creams are a popular choice among consumers. These over-the-counter creams contain moisturizers with a two percent hydroquinone content which is a bleaching agent that will aid in the fading process. Best results are obtained with the cream is used in conjunction with glycolic acid moisturizer. Prescription creams that contain vitamin A, such as Retin-A or Retinova, work more effectively than the over-the-counter fade creams.
There are more invasive options available to you for those suffering from a more serious case of age spots. Chemical peels are one of these options. Using 30%-70% glycolic acid, the fading factor is much more pronounced than in either of the creams mentioned above. The treatment is simple and can be done in a short session, even on your lunch break if need be. You will need more than one treatment to reach the full effects of the procedure.
Laser resurfacing is another option similar to the chemical peel. In this procedure, the age spots are literally burned off the skin’s surface with a laser and can be accomplished in one treatment. It does, however, have a recovery time of about one week and can be quite expensive.
For a more natural and cost-effective way to help prevent age spots simply limit your exposure to the sun and, when you are in the sun, wear sunscreen. Limit your alcohol intake and eat a well balance diet.