Age spots or brown spots are small blackish brown spots on the skin. It is seen largely on the areas like face, arms and neck which are exposed to sunlight often. Brown spots are small oval shaped areas with abnormal color. The skin on such regions look tanned with brown or black color. You can find such age spots on your hands, face, shoulders, neck and top of feet. The size of such spots range from 5-13 mm in size and sometimes they join together to get noticed easily.
Causes Of Brown Spots On Skin :
Several causes like exposure to harsh rays of sunlight, aging, and usage of tanning beds can cause such brown spots on the skin. Aging can cause brown spots on skin and for many people it runs in families. The skin produces melanin pigment on exposure to ultra-violet rays of the sun which makes the affected area dark and brown in color.
In cold climatic conditions people use tanning beds and lamps frequently to escape from severe cold. Although it helps in giving comfort and warmth, it is not good for your skin. The skin loses its texture and gradually becomes dark in certain areas. Tanning beds emit UV rays and when the skin becomes repeatedly exposed to such light it can develop melanin making the skin dark and black.
- Seborrheic Keratoses :
Seborrheic keratoses are skin lesions that appear as brown spots on the skin when the person becomes aged. Often it occurs when the skin is exposed to sunlight or due to sunburn.
Risk Factors :
- Anyone can develop brown spots on skin. But it is commonly found in people who are above 45 years. Individual with fair skin are at increased risk of brown spots.
- People whose job involves exposure to sun frequently and those who use tanning beds frequently are liable to get brown spots.
Brown spots are small regions where the skin color is different and dark. The color of age spots are mostly brown or black and they are harmless and has no medical significance. Brown spots largely occur on the body parts that are overly exposed to sun like that of face, neck, shoulder and hands.
Any skin specialist can easily identify brown spots. If the doctor suspects any cancerous growth, he may order for biopsy for testing the tissue sample.
Read more on Brown Spots On Face
Whether You Need To Check With Your Doctor ?
It is not necessary for every individual to consult his doctor after having some brown spots on the skin.
If You Have Doubts Of Cancer, It Can Be Evident By The Following Signs :-
- Brown spots would be very dark and changes frequently in size and shape.
- Brown spots would have an irregular border and would be of mixed colors.
- Any skin lesions or spots that keeps on changing its size, shape and color can be cancer causing.
Brown spots are harmless and painless and hence no treatment is needed. They usually fade gradually. Bleaching creams like hydroquinone and retinoids are prescribed for treating brown spots.
You need to use such bleaching creams and gels several weeks or even months to get the expected result. Such creams can make things worse making your skin highly sensitive to sunlight.
- Laser Therapy – High power laser beam is passed directly into the skin on the affected site. Laser therapy can destroy the damaged (dead) cells of the skin giving room for fresh skin cells to develop.
- Chemical Peeling – In this method, chemical peeling agents are used to burn off the outer (damaged) layer of the skin. The skin can look burnt for few days and it might take few weeks for fresh skin cells to develop.
- Dermabrasion – In this method, a brush that rotates with high speed would brush the surface of affected skin for gently scrubbing the top layer (darkened region) of the skin. This therapy can cause reddening of skin and scarring for few days which would then be covered by new skin cells.
- In cryosurgery, the doctor uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the brown spots easily.
In any of the above methods, brown spots would not fade away instantly. Growing of skin cells is a process and hence it may take several days or weeks for the new skin cells to grow again.
Tips To Prevent Brown Spots :
- You cannot totally prevent getting age spots if they occur due to aging process.
- Avoid roaming in hot sun and if your job necessitates you should use sunscreen lotion before going out.
- Apply sunscreen lotion half-an-hour before exposing your skin to sunlight and use recommended SPF creams only.
- Cover your face and neck with a scarf and wear fully covered sleeves for protecting your hands.
Top 12 Home Remedies For Brown Spots On Skin :
1. Lemon Juice – Lemon serves as a good bleaching agent thus helping in restoring the original skin color. Citric acid present in the lemon juice helps in removing the brown spots. You can mix yogurt with lemon juice for getting quick results. Apply this paste on the brown spots and rinse it after 15 minutes. Repeat this remedy until the dark spots disappear. Likewise you can make a paste of lemon juice and sugar or lemon juice with turmeric powder and regular application of this paste can help in fading off brown spots.
2. Castor Oil – Apply few drops of castor oil on the dark spots and gently massage it so that it gets absorbed. Repeat this 2-3 times a day. In few weeks you can see the difference in skin color.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar – Soak a cotton pad in apple cider vinegar and apply it on the dark spots of the skin. In due course you can see the brown spots are fading away. You can add onion juice with ACV for getting added benefit.
4. Aloe Vera – You can use aloe Vera gel for any kind of skin problem like rash, darkened skin and lesions. Aloe Vera gel or freshly cut slices of this plant can be rubbed on the dark spots regularly.
5. Milk With Horseradish – Add half a cup of milk with horseradish and blend it nicely. Apply this paste on the dark spots of the skin daily. Horseradish contains antioxidants that are capable of removing dead skin cells thus clearing off dark spots. Horseradish is effective in treating wrinkles and age spots from the skin.
6. Olive Oil – Olive oil can prevent the process of aging and hence useful in fading away of dark spots. Apply few drops of olive oil in your palm and gently rub it on the affected area. Let the oil get absorbed into the skin. Rinse it with plain water after 20 minutes. You can add vinegar with olive oil and repeat the same process.
7. Papaya Juice – Papaya contains all the necessary ingredients for keeping the skin young and moisturized. Pulp of papaya can be applied directly on the dark spots of the skin. Allow it to dry before rinsing with cold water.
8. Buttermilk – Acidity in buttermilk is useful in removing the brown spots on the skin. Apply buttermilk daily 2-3 times on the affected areas of the skin for getting improved complexion.
9. Rose Water – You can use the paste of rose water and sandal powder on the brown spots. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Wash it with plain water.
10. Onion – Juice of onion is capable of removing age spots from the skin, owing to its bleaching nature and acidity. You can apply it plain or add few drops of honey with it before application. Repeat this process regularly for at least 4 weeks to get positive result.
11. Gram Flour – Add few drops of water to chickpea flour to make a paste. Apply it liberally on the brown spots and leave it for a while. You can add lemon juice or castor oil with gram flour.
12. Red Currant – Make a paste from unripe red currant and add few drops of honey to it. Apply this mixture on the brown spots of the skin and allow it to dry before rinsing. Instead of honey you can also add lemon juice.
How To Prevent ?
Nobody can prevent the process of aging that causes brown spots or age spots on the skin. However you can avoid going out in sunlight and keep the exposed areas like face, neck and hands fully covered. Apply sunscreen lotion of SPF 15 on the face and neck region before going out. Quit drinking and smoking. Reduce stress level by joining meditation class. Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. Exercise regularly.