All you should know about Liver Spots
Contrary to what most people think, wrinkles are not the only sign that time has gone by. One of the telltale signs of ageing is skin spots, otherwise known as liver spots or solar lentigines. On the other hand, it is not a generalised symptom and not everybody shows skin spots. Let’s take a deeper look into this matter: what are these spots and why do we get them?
By definition, solar lentigines or liver spots are dark skin spots (usually either brownish or black). Although they vary in size and shape, they are typically present in individuals aged 50 or older. Nonetheless, younger people have been known to present these spots, too. This is particularly so if these young people spend much time under the sun.
What are the Causes of Liver Spots?
The different layers of our skin tissue absorb sunrays throughout all of our lives. It is a well-known fact that some of these rays are harmful to our skin. So much so, that they cause certain type of damage. One of the ways our skin tissue is altered by the effects of sunrays is through hyper keratoses. This means that healthy skin becomes rougher and thicker –this is a natural response that occurs when the skin wants to protect itself from unwanted effects. Another common reaction is hyper pigmentation or extra colouring. This is visible through darkened spots and is one of the main reasons healthy skin forms liver spots.
Although certain skin types are more prone to developing these unwanted colours, the truth is that most skin types will develop a form of hyper pigmentation when exposed to sunlight and the longer you remain under the sun, the higher the chances of developing these spots.
Even when using protection, some people should avoid staying under the sun altogether. If you are light-skinned and fair-eyed, for instance; or if your skin becomes red when exposed to sunlight, you should take extra measures.
Cosmetic technology has provided us with different alternatives that can help to treat liver spots. However, the wisest tip would be to avoid getting them. So far, the best way to protect our skin from the harmful effects of sunrays is using the appropriate sunscreen or sun block. This advice however, is useful as long as we use the products the right way. Reapplying often and using the exact SPF is vital to preventing any unwanted colouring in our skin.
Are Liver Spots Dangerous?
Even if they look ominous, the truth is that liver spots do not mean any significant threat to your health. Some people may mistakenly confuse them with cancerous growths. They are not, however and will not require medical treatment.
Even so, consulting with a physician is always a good call; especially because many people may confuse these benign spots with other types of more harmful skin conditions. Here are useful tips on how to identify them:
Location: Liver spots usually appear on hands, face (particularly forehead, nose or hairline) shoulders or back.
Symptoms: none. They do not itch, sting or hurt in any way.
Cosmetic Treatment for Skin Spots
Despite being innocuous, liver spots are the cause of medical consultation mainly because of cosmetic reasons. Hundreds of patients wonder whether these spots can be concealed or taken care of. Skin doctors generally agree on one point concerning these spots: they cannot be removed. Nevertheless, patients are advised on several skin treatments that help to improve skin appearance.
Cosmetic treatments offered to treat lentigines focus on one aspect: reducing their colour or lightening them so that they are less noticeable. There are several treatments available on the market and some have been proved to be highly effective in reducing spots both in size and colour.
At Advanced Dermatology our recommend treatment for liver spots and other skin spots is our revolutionary Clariskin® PhotoRejuvenation treatment.