Age spots, also known as browns spots are caused from excessive exposure to the sun. These dark spots are usually found on the face, neck, and hands as these are the areas that receive the most sun exposure. Although brown spots are not necessarily caused from ageing, they are caused by overexposure to the sun and as we age our skin’s ability to fight back is lessened thus producing age spots on the face, neck and hands.

The skin produces melanin to absorb the UV rays from the sun and protect the underlying skin cells, thus this is how we get a suntan. However, melanin will not always be distributed evenly throughout the skin thus leaving darker areas or brown spots.

Preventing age spots is easy just by following these simple tips:

Apply a sunscreen faithfully everyday. It should be applied 20 minutes before going outdoors and then reapply in two hours.

Wear a long sleeve shirt if possible and hat if you are outdoors for an extended length of time.

Try to avoid the strongest sunrays between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Although you may be annoyed with the repeated advice of wearing sunscreen, there are numerous studies supporting that those people that use sunscreen regularly had the largest reduction in actinic keratosis. Actinic keratosis also known as a solar keratosis, is a small, rough spot occurring on the skin that has been chronically exposed to the sun. They measure anywhere from one-quarter to one-inch in diameter and are usually considered precancerous spots. These legions can appear years after sun damage so regular applications of sunscreen are important at all ages.

It is also important to note that overexposure to the sun while wearing sun-sensitive chemicals in cosmetics or perfume will produce poikiloderma which usually appears on the neck and checks. Poikiloderma: extra pigmentation of the skin demonstrating a variety of shades and associated with widened capillaries (telangiectasia) in the affected area.

Skin Care Remedies to reduce the appearance of age spots:

Diet – research studies have shown that a diet that includes flavanoids and antioxidants found in most vegetables, fruits, and grain has shown to reduce the appearance of age spots. Furthermore in animal laboratory testing flavanoids has prevented cancer formation

Kitchen recipes – Lemon juice has a bleaching agent that will lighten sunspots. Dab a cotton ball of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the brown spots in the morning and evening. Note – lemon juice is photo-sensitive so protect your skin with sunscreen.

Apply the fleshy side of a green papaya, right out of the fridge to reduce age spots. Just apply the papaya to the spots for 15-20 minutes daily and repeat until you attain the desire lightness.

Home remedies are inexpensive and offer a natural solution to reduce the appearance of age spots. Additionally, home skin care recipes are eco-friendly and there are no chemicals involved. However, for a natural skin lightening treatment a home remedy may require 6 to 8 weeks to see results.

Please keep in mind the detrimental effect the sun can have on your skin without the proper protection. Additionally, if it is within your budget, visit a dermatologist yearly for a skin checkup.

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