Some people think that liver spots, also called age spots or sun spots, are hereditary. These people must be looking at data that show that cholesterol levels in a family are hereditary because this is a true statement. If your folks have high cholesterol then chances are good that your cholesterol will be high, also, and it may even mean that you take medication for it.
Liver spots, on the other hand, are due primarily to your exposure to the sun and very little more. In other words, if you spent a lot of time in the sun when you were a child – in the pre-sunscreen era, for example — then the chances are very good that you will find your self with clusters of age spots or sunspots (other names for liver spots) all over your body.
For example, look at the back of your hand, if you are over 40 and the chances are very good that you will see more than one age spot and the funny thing is that they seem to appear overnight – which, in some cases, they do.
In technical terms, liver spots are called benign lesions happen in parts of the body that are exposed to the sun. For example, a car salesman would likely have sun spots or age spots in the hands, arms, neck and face, while a trucker may have them primarily in the face because they tend to cover up when they drive.
As you age, the number of liver spots increases. That also stands to reason because you have more exposure to the sun in various occupations as you age.
In general, you will find that sun spots are from 3mm to 22 mm in size and they tend to be flat. You can also tell they are only sun spots because they have well marked borders, although their shapes can be somewhat unorthodox.
Liver spots tend to be located in the top layers of skin where melanin bearing cells (the ones that protect your skin by darkening it against the sun’s rays. The more sun an area sees, the more likely you are to experience sun spots or liver spots.
Since they tend to be benign, there’s not special liver spot treatment needed for them, unless your work requires them to be taken away. At that time, there are a whole variety of procedures you can try to use from liver spot removal creams to peels to cryosurgery to laser surgery. Each one has its own risks and benefits. For example, creams are easy on the skin, but you have to remember to use them. Peels, on the other hand, require the intervention of a professional and use of some rather potent drugs that take away the top layers of the skin, eliminating not only the surface skin but also the brown spot-bearing skin underneath.
If you opt for surgical means you can try cryosurgery (formerly the most frequently used method where the skin and sun spot underneath were frozen and then taken away or you can use the more modern laser techniques developed in the last few years that literally shoot through the surface of the skin and will then obliterate the age spot with heat, leaving behind health skin and a blemish free complexion.
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