Age spots, also known as liver spots, sun spots, and lentigines are flat, harmless discolorations of the skin, that are looked upon with disdain by people. This is because these yellow or brown skin discolorations occur on the face, neck, and hands of people beyond the age of 40, and can reveal a person's age.
Age spots occur mainly because of over exposure to the sun, thus, should be called sun spots instead of age spots. However, since they have been commonly observed in people above the age of 40, they are referred to as age spots. Impaired liver function and dietary deficiencies can also conduce to the formation of these spots.
When the body is exposed to sunlight, it produces cells called melanocytes, to protect the skin from damage due to excessive exposure to the sun. These melanocytes produce a dark brown pigment called melanin, which gives the skin a suntanned appearance. However, a typical day in the sun can also cause an uneven jump in melanocytes.
This weird production pattern conduces to formation of irregular coloring or skin pigmentation. Although these spots are harmless they affect the cosmetic appearance of a person, which is why people are keen to get rid of them. Moreover, natural remedies are preferred because they lack side effects.
Home Remedies You Can Try
Remedy # 1: Horseradish
Horseradish, although not popularly known as a medical herb, is a fantastic herb that helps remove age spots and freckles. Just grate one 4 inch long piece of horseradish and add ¼ cup apple cider vinegar to it. Mix well and allow the mixture to sit for 2 weeks (shaking daily). Then, strain it into a small container and store it in the refrigerator.
Take small amounts of this mixture and apply it on the spots 3 times a day. However, do test for any allergies or skin irritations on a small patch of your skin before applying it on the face.
Remedy # 2: Onion and Vinegar
Chop an onion finely and extract its juice. Combine 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons of onion juice in a container. Mix well and apply it on the age spots.
You could even dab lemon juice onto the spots twice a day for two months to see the spots begin to fade away. However, people with hypersensitive and dry skin should avoid this.
Remedy # 4: Castor Oil
Rubbing castor oil directly onto the skin twice a day helps blot out age spots. Castor oil penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin and its acid and anti-inflammatory properties lighten the age spots. Castor oil should be kept away from the eyes and should only be used externally.
Remedy # 5: Aloe Vera
Aloe vera gel and juice have been known for healing scores of skin disorders and problems like skin burns. They also help lighten age spots. Just rub the gel or juice onto the spots twice a day. It will take a month before you notice any improvements.
Remedy # 6: Vitamin E
Cut the vitamin E capsule and apply the oil contained within directly on the age spots. Daily application helps reduce the appearance of age spots. In addition to this, one can even take vitamin E supplements daily. However, vitamin E is no miracle oil, so don't get discouraged when you don't see immediate results. Be patient and apply it daily.
Remedy # 7: Chickpea Paste
Take ⅓ cup of fresh chickpeas and mash it up with a little water to form a paste. Smear this paste onto the spots and leave it until it dries. Then wash it away.
Remedy # 8: Green Papaya
Take a cold piece of green papaya and rub its fleshy side on the skin to reduce age spots. Leave the papaya on the spots for 15-20 minutes and then wash it away. Apply the papaya daily until the desired lightness has been attained.
Home remedies are the safest and most inexpensive ways of reducing age spots. However, it is important to note that eliminating these spots will take time, so do not expect immediate results.
These remedies are not magic potions and you may have to wait for several months before noticing visible results. Nevertheless, do not give up! Try one remedy for a month or two and then try another one.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.