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According to the Mayo Clinic, age spots -- also called liver spots -- are flat spots on the skin that may have irregular borders and are usually brown or black in color. Age spots can be found on various parts of the body, such as the legs, arms and face. The spots are most prevalent on areas of the skin that come in frequent contact with the sun.
As we grow older, our skin matures and takes on different qualities and characteristics. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, age spots develop as the skin ages and are usually harmless. Occasionally age spots may appear to be skin cancer, so it is best to have your age spots looked at by a doctor or dermatologist. Most skin cancers can be treated if caught in time before they become aggressive, so regular checkups are essential.
Sun exposure is the No. 1 cause of age spots. The spots will show up on places that have received the most sun exposure. Age spots may also develop from tanning in a tanning bed. Although age spots mostly effect aging skin, the spots can develop on younger skin. The legs are frequently exposed to the sun as you tan on the beach or wear shorts throughout the summer. Try to cover your legs when in the sun with a skirt or a pair of long pants.
Age spots are treated using a variety of methods. According to the American Society for Dermatological Surgery, treatments for age spots include bleaching creams, cryosurgery, chemical peels, dermabrasion and laser surgery. Speak to your dermatologist to find out which option is the best for your skin. Consider that you may not be able to completely remove the age spots if you have excessive sun damage on your skin.
Castor oil is a natural remedy for removing age spots. While there is no medical research that can back up this claim, there is anecdotal evidence praising the effects of castor oil. The oil is rubbed into the skin of the legs every morning and evening and allowed to soak into the skin. Within a few weeks you should see a gradual shedding of the skin as the age spot peels away. The age spot may also turn into a scab and eventually fall off. Alternatively lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are touted as alternative treatments for age spots.
Age spots are a sign of aging skin and can not be completely avoided. To decrease your risk of developing age spots, always use sunscreen and try to avoid sun exposure on the skin. Wearing sunscreen can also help you to retain a youthful appearance to the skin and will help you to avoid the tell-tale signs of aging skin -- age spots and wrinkles.
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