These tiny brown spots typically appear on the skin after a sun exposure, but they might also be a sign of aging. This is the reason why individuals over the age of 50 are most prone to developing them. As mentioned above, they might pop on the skin after spending time in the sun as well, so at the peak of summer days, you might notice them on your skin.
What causes them?
Sun spots develop due to ultraviolet rays from the sun. When the skin is exposed to these rays, the body starts producing melanin in an effort to tan the skin, building up a shield to protect the deeper skin layers. So, age spots typically appear on the body parts that are the most exposed to the sun, such as face, neck, shoulders, and arms.
Although dark spots are harmless in most cases, if you notice some are darker, have shaped borders, or have been growing rapidly, consult a doctor. In addition, you should visit a doctor right away if they are tender, red, or bleeding.
What to do about them?
Given that age spots are not dangerous and are not associated with any health issues, treatment is not needed. Still, most people want to remove them as they don’t like the way they look on their skin.
Doctors typically prescribe bleaching creams to fade the age spots. These creams contain hydroquinone, with or without retinoids like tretinoin. They work gradually and usually take a few months to fade the spots. The treatment also requires wearing sunscreen at all times since these cream makes the skin more sensitive to UV rays and damage.
There are also a few medical procedures being used to treat age spots. The most common include:
- dermabrasion, which removes the outer layers of the skin, making room for new skin to grow
- cryosurgery, which freezes age spots
- laser treatment to destroy the melatonin-producing cells
- chemical peels to burn the outer layer of your skin
Ultimately, there are various homemade treatments which are claimed to work wonders for age spots. The one presented below was developed by Dr. Doug Willen, D.C. NYC nutrition expert and author of Quantum Paleo.
To make this solution, dice fresh onion and place the pieces in a bag. Take some heavy object to crush the onions and release their juices. Pour the onion juice in a blender along with half a cup of apple cider vinegar and blend until well combined. Dip a cotton ball in the solution and apply it onto the age spots. For optimal results, do this once daily. You should notice improvement after two to four weeks.
“This remedy might not be an overnight fix, but it’s extremely effective,” says Drew.
Can you prevent them?
Although this recipe is said to work wonders, prevention is always better than the cure. So, the best way to deal with them is to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Age spots are not only caused by sun exposure, according to Dr. Ray Peat, Ph.D. in an article for Harpers Bazaar. Excess iron, unsaturated fats, and hormone imbalance are also associated with the development of age spots. Therefore, to prevent them remove polyunsaturated fats from your diet and get your iron levels checked.