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5 Safe Ways to Lighten Age Spots

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5 Safe Ways to Lighten Age Spots

By Deirdre Shevlin Bell, Natural Solutions

Aging provides plenty of perks—greater confidence, more wisdom, and discounted movie tickets, to name a few. But growing older also brings a few downsides: age spots, for instance, which boldly advertise your more mature status.

Age spots—benign, flat areas of hyperpigmentation—usually pop up on the hands and face, most commonly on the forehead. These tan, brown, or gray flecks are also called “sun spots” because they occur largely as a result of sun damage. Ultraviolet (UV) rays activate the skin’s pigment-producing cells, called melanocytes. Too much UV exposure damages the melanocytes, causing them to crank out excess pigment (also called melanin) or to clump together and form dark spots on the skin.

But the true cause of age spots begins deep within the skin, believes Benjamin Johnson, MD, founder of Osmosis Pür Skin Care. “Excess UV exposure causes damage to the dermal-epidermal junction, which prevents delivery of antioxidants to the epidermis,” he explains.

“The skin ages sporadically, and we can’t always say why a spot shows up in one place versus somewhere else.” However, Johnson suggests that spots form in areas that have endured so much trauma from excess sun exposure that they no longer receive adequate anti-oxidant supply from the dermis. This results in free-radical damage to the melanocytes, which triggers irregular melanin production and compounds the problem.

Conventional treatment for hyperpigmentation includes bleach, specifically hydroquinone or tretinoin (Retin-A), which carry serious health risks like cancer, reproductive toxicity, and skin allergies. Also common are cryotherapy (freezing) and light therapy (either laser or intense pulsed light). Although effective and relatively safe, both of these treatments can cost thousands of dollars.

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+ add your own
4:00AM PDT on Jul 4, 2014

Definitely, sunlight exposure makes our skin dull and cause various skin problems. Always wear sunscreen with good SPF when you go out in the sun. Your skin will thank you!

6:39PM PST on Dec 2, 2013

It is important to use sunscreen after treating your age spots. Sunscreen prevents your age spots from darkening. Once the melanocytes are activated, your best prevention is sunscreen. If you are thinking of using skin whitening cream, here are some helpful tips which I have read at

12:56PM PST on Nov 12, 2013

Got it, thank you!

11:40PM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

Thank you.

5:06AM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

thanks for great tips

4:26AM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

avoid sun

4:25AM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

Sometimes there is no help, never ever heard about Yogurt . New one for me, stay out of the sun and frankly don't get old!

3:01PM PDT on Oct 13, 2013

Thanks for the advise. I've had a spot in my cheek since I turned 18, after an entire summer of playing tennis. My skin is very fair, and it couldn't take the sun, I guess. I avoid the sun like the plague now. I've tried many things and nothing seems to work. I will now try the yogurt. I hope it works this time!

2:31PM PDT on Oct 13, 2013

Thank you for the advice.

1:39PM PDT on Oct 13, 2013


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