As we get older, our skin becomes more and more susceptible to various blemishes and imperfections, but no other blemish is so closely associated with old age than those dark splotches we call Liver spots.
“Liver spot” is a bit of a misnomer. They were once thought to be caused by liver problems, but that hypothesis has proven to be incorrect. They’re actually caused by a combination of exposure to ultraviolet light, which speeds up the production of Melanin, and the decreased ability of skin to repair itself after sun damage, hence alternative names such as “age spot” and “senile freckle.”
Genetics and plain, old aging are factors, too, and those of light-coloured skin tones are more likely to get them. But, is there anything you can do to reduce the risk of developing them?
The big thing is to avoid excess sun exposure. That’s not to say you should start avoiding the sun altogether – you’re not a vampire! But during the times of day when the sun is strongest (usually between 10:00am and 4:00pm), avoid the sun as much as possible, and wear long sleeves and hats if you must be outside during that time. Sunscreen is also highly recommended.
There are ways to combat age spots once they’ve appeared, as well. Age spots can be difficult to completely erase, but in most cases, their effects can be minimized. Treatments range from Obagi skin care products to laser treatments. For more information regarding the options available to you, contact your plastic surgeon and book a consultation.