What Are Liver Spots?

Liver spots are flat, brown-black marks that frequently develop on body areas that received most of the suns ultra violet rays. Liver spots are changes in skin color that happen in older skin. The amplified color may be caused by aging, exposure to the sun or other forms of ultraviolet radiation, or other unidentified causes. It is observed that liver spots are extremely common after the age 40; hence, a liver spot is also referred to as an age spot. Age spots are visible most often on areas that have had the most sun exposure, such as the backs of the hands, shoulders, face, forearms, and forehead.

Despite their deceptive name, liver spots have nothing to do with the liver. Age spots have been proven to have more to do with senescence. Senescence is the biological term given to the process of aging; hence, age spots are associated with old age. Generally found in individuals starting at the age of forty, liver spots are shallow deposits of a brownish pigment called lipofuscin that are located on the skin. Lipofuscin is an occurring pigment that emerges both inside and outside the body. It can be concluded that it is a result of the body’s wear and tear process. Ultraviolet radiation and aging are the two leading cause for the human skin to gradually lose its ability for regeneration. This natural condition leads to culminating into the brown spots or dark blemishes on the skin’s surface.

Liver spots medical term is lentigines. They can measure up to one inch in diameter. Solar lentigo can be visible all over the body, especially on surfaces of the skin that are often exposed to sunlight which includes the face, hands, shoulders, and arms. Liver spots appearance is comparable to that of a large freckle.

On the whole, liver spots are not an indication of poor health or illness. This is the reason why liver spots require no treatment. However, liver spots do tend to reproduce when a person goes through emotional distress. Only in exceptional occurrences, liver spots create a trouble to health, in which the darkly colored blemishes have hidden away the recognition of an actinic keratosis, a precancerous skin condition. To prevent liver spots, suggestions to be performed have included staying out of the exposure of the sun and eat foods and supplements that are profuse in antioxidants. Antioxidants slow down the cell damage process thus helping the skin to regenerate.

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