Have you ever noticed brown spots on yours or someone you know’s skin and wondered what the heck it was? Well if it looks anything like the picture on the right, it’s most likely an liver spot. These dark spots on the skin are most commonly known as “age spots” or “liver spots”, but the scientific term is hyperpigmentation.
Call them what you want, age spots come in all different shapes, forms, and sizes which can be found in many different spots of the body. The most common areas that age spots appear are on the face, back, arms, hands, and shoulders.
It is important to not confuse these liver spots with skin cancer, so you should talk to your doctor if you think you may have symptoms of skin cancer which we will later discuss in this article.
Typically age spots appear in people above the age of forty-five, however, this doesn’t mean that young people can’t get liver spots as well. To understand why people get liver spots, let’s dive a little deeper into the causes to get a better understanding.
Identifying a liver spot can usually be done by yourself of by a doctor. For self-examination, look to see the following traits:
You can also compare your dark spots on the skin to the pictures shown on the right.
If you are still nervous about the dark pigmentation showing on your skin, it is wise to have a doctor take a look as well. They will perform the same visual examination or use additional means of examination to achieve a more precise understanding of your skin conditions.
It is crucial that you distinguish the difference between age spots and skin cancer. We will discuss these differences in more detail below.
Age spots can be very common and affect many people in their later years. Now that we know how to identify age spots, we want to make sure that we do not mistake them for melanoma.
Melanoma is a skin cancer that forms in melanocytes and if not treated, can spread to other parts of the body. There is a strong connection between Melanoma and family history so understanding how this disease has affected other members of your family is important. This cancer is typically caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays. To get a better understanding of how to prevent melanoma, let’s examine how melanoma starts.
The cancer usually forms off of moles and other skin growths so it is especially important to protect and constantly check those areas. To help you better identify and protect yourself from Melanoma, here is a list of things to look out for. Please pay close attention to the pictures in this section which demonstrate.
When you are more aware of what skin cancer looks like and how it behaves, you should be better prepared to get a head start on treatment and prevention of cancerous skin. When caught early, treatment is very often successful and the cancer is curable!
If your family has a long history of cancer issues or you have any growths or unusual moles on the body, make sure to always apply sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. If you suspect a spot on your skin to be problematic or bothersome, you should immediately contact your doctor and learn how exam tests work.
The pigmentation of the skin depends on the amount and quality of melanin your body produces. Melanin is your skin’s natural pigment created to protect itself from harmful UV rays. Remember, the most common contributing factors to age spots are genetics and UV light exposure.
To create melanin, your body has what are called melanocytes. Melanocytes are responsible for producing melanin to protect epidermal cells from UV light.
If your skin is not protected by SPF sunscreen you are susceptible to getting liver spots. Whenever an abundance of ultraviolet light attacks the skin, more melanin is produced. The more this happens, the more likely the appearances of age spots will occur. For this reason, age spots are more likely to appear in the areas mentioned before because those areas are most vulnerable to sun exposure.
Luckily, there are ways to prevent age spots that are caused by sun damage. To name a few…
You may also be susceptible to age spots due to genetical reasons. Mixes of different races can cause confusion for your bodies melanin production cycle. Also, people with pale skin and red hair are more likely to have age spots when they become older.
Genetical causes of age spots can be prevented with the same strategies listed above. Make sure to keep your skin protected and use proper skincare products.
For the most part, yes!
Unless you notice any signs of abnormal size and bumpy differences in these areas, you should be fine.
By knowing the differences between age spots and melanoma, you can greatly increase your chances of detecting skin cancer early.
Age spots can typically be reduced or removed quickly and there are multiple remedies to choose from if you would like to get rid of the dark spots on your skin. They include:
There are other medical procedures available to get rid of age spots which you can learn more about by talking with your doctor.
Adding a mask of different fruits and vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals can be a slow but sometimes effective way to get rid of age spots. These include:
By applying these fruits and vegetables to the affected area, the oils they contain work to dimish the appearance of age spots. As silly as it sounds, people have reported some results after applying these ingredients.
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