What are liver spots on skin? What causes them? Are they symptoms of skin cancer? Here are pictures and a guide on how to remove liver spots from your skin to leave it blemish free
What Are Liver Spots on Skin?
What are liver spots on skin? “Liver spots are flat, brown or black spots that can appear on areas of the skin exposed to the sun. They have nothing to do with the liver or liver function.”- [Source: nlm.nih.gov] A liver spot on the skin is therefore not as a result of immediate but prolonged neglect of the skin when venturing out.
What Causes Liver Spots on Skin?
What causes liver spots on skin? There are many variables that play a part in one getting liver spots. The major cause of them is prolonged exposure of the skin to direct sunlight. This causes the body to produce melanin as a defense mechanism. It is as a result that these hyper-pigmentations will occur. The spots do not form immediately after sun exposure. By the time they form, the skin will have undergone prolonged sun damage.
Sun tanning is also not healthy. Due to the excessive sunlight, excess melanin will be produced. This will in the end result in spots. It is therefore important to stay away from tanning beds as they expose the skin to the same UV rays. These will have a similar effect on the skin as the sun does.
Age is another contributing factor. These spots are most common in people who are above the age of 40 years. At this age, the skin will have taken in enough sun damage. It is also possible that the regeneration of skin cells will have slowed down. These factors are the reason why the skin spots form as one gets older.
Genetics as well have a role to play in liver spots. People who are genetically inclined to get liver spots are those whose family lineage has been getting them. People who inherit light skin as well have more chances of developing these spots.
The above factors lead to formation of liver spots. These are evidenced by changes in the color of the skin in small parts and are experienced on areas that experience greatest exposure to sunlight such as back of hands, shoulders and face. To reduce the chances of getting them, it is important to always wear sunscreen protection. Also avoid the sun at its most intense durations. Wearing protective clothing could also help.
Red Liver Spots on Skin
Formation of spots on the skin may be manifested in various ways. One of these is small red spots on the skin. These liver spots are normally smaller in size than a pencil eraser. These appear anywhere on the skin and occur when there is an overgrowth of blood vessels on the surface of the skin. These are in no way linked to cancer.
Liver Spots Skin Cancer
Skin cancer in its early stages can be mistaken for some form of liver spot. There however are distinguishing characteristics that could serve as warning. Any spot that is irregularly shaped, has an irregular border, contains different colors within, keeps growing and changing in size and exhibits sudden changes is cause for concern.
Itching, bleeding and pain are as well warning signs. Any spot that shows these should be checked by a doctor immediately. They may need to do a biopsy to confirm whether the spot is malignant or not. Depending on the results of their findings, they will advise as may be necessary.
Liver Spots on Skin Pictures
Pictures can help distinguish different skin problems from one another. There are before and after pictures online showing treatment progress as well as home remedies effect. On this page, we thought that adding some pictures of liver dots will help you understand exactly what is a liver spot.
How to Remove Liver Spots on Skin
Blemishes on our skin may make us self conscious. Although they do not pose any medical danger on a person’s health, they are aesthetically unappealing. For people who are conscious about their liver spots, getting rid of them can be done for cosmetic purposes. Below are ways on how to remove liver spots on skin.
- Home remedies: These make use of readily available ingredients to remove liver spots. They include the use of things such as honey, lemon juice and aloe vera juice. Vinegar and baking soda can also help.
- Over the counter products: There are over the counter products for topical application. These include gels, creams and lotions which contain skin lightening active ingredients such as kojic acid, Hydroxy acid and glycolic acid. Products with up to two percent hydroquinone can also be obtained over the counter.
- Prescription Strength Medications: These are best used when home remedies and over the counter products fail to work. These can only be obtained with the prescription from a doctor. There are bleaching creams that contain up to four percent of hydroquinone, which tend to work where other products have failed.
They may take up to six months before the blemishes disappear. During the time of use, the skin becomes sensitive. They should therefore be used together with a high SPF sunscreen. This will prevent the skin from damage by UV rays.
- Medical Procedures: Where one wants a fast method on removal of liver spots, one should opt for professional services. There are a number of medical procedures that can be performed to get rid of the spots.
Laser treatment makes use of light energy to destroy the hyper pigmented cells. Chemical peels can also be used. These make use of an acidic chemical to burn and peel off the skin’s top layer. This gives room for growth of new skin with no blemishes. Dermabrasion works in the same way as chemical peels. This method though involves manual sanding of the skin. Cryosurgery uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the liver spots.