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Liver Spots

Liver spots are sometimes referred to as being solar lentigo; age spots; old age spots; senile freckles; and lentigo senilis. They are in fact, the body’s response to the aging process. These can also be caused from years of over exposure to the sun’s UV ray’s (ultra-violet light), as well as from being exposed to radiation. They show-up in various colors of black; dark brown; light brown; different shades of gray, including different shades of red. Usually, these spots are going to be located in areas which will be getting exposed continuously to the sun’s ultra-violet light, such as the face; hands; arms; shoulders; forehead; and heads that are hairless.

These spots were originally got named by people due to their thinking they had something to do with the liver, this idea of course, was totally incorrect, for the spots are not related to the liver at all. Once the body passes the age of forty-five years of age it can no longer regenerate or recover from all the years of damage it received from the sun’s ultra-violet light, and it is also unable to regenerate and/or recover from any exposure it may have had over the years from radiation, which is another culprit that can cause these liver or age spots.

In most cases, these do not pose any threats, however, there are some cases where cancer has been detected in some of these and that is why it is so important to consult with a physician if one of these has noticeably went through changes such as its color, size, and shape, including bleeding. An examination by a physician and possibly some tests will tell whether or not it is benign or not, and sometimes, these spots might be regarded as unsightly, and that is why there are a great many who choose to have them taken off or removed. Removing them is done through a procedure that uses one of the following means: laser treatment: cryotherapy; electrosurgery, and sometimes, it will be performed through de-pigmentation agents, such as topical cysteamine; alpha hydroxy acids; azelaic acid; hydroquinone; or tretinoin.


To have these types of spots diagnosed a person should consult a Dermatologist. The Dermatologist will examine them and run some test in order to give a diagnosis.

Some of the causes of age spots/liver spots

Differing from the affects melanotic nevi or the verruccous nevi has, liver and age spots change colors and shape over a period of time. The aging theory of misrepair-accumulation in regard to the development of age spots has proposed a hypothesis. Firstly, a flat spot developing comes from the accumulation of aging basal cells. With aging skin, also comes many cells which contain lipofuscin bodies that cannot be taken out. A cell that is aged effects local tissue functioning and it also promotes the neighbor cells to begin aging. Through a feedback loop, one neighboring cell after another will become aged, and will contain lipofuscin.

Next, they all aggregate, forming an area that is irregular in shape. Secondly, when aged cells die, it causes a flat spot to protrude and this is from the release of lipofuscin bodies themselves. It is significant that the un-digestible lipofuscin bodies that is found in a fibrotic capsule to maintain the tissues structural integrity. When there consist of encapsulation of dead cells, including lipofuscin bodies it results in there being a three-dimensional growth of the spot. The protruding spot is soft and also dark in its color due to the capsule containing dense lipofuscin bodies.

A brief description of terms

Hydroquinone is an organic and aromatic resulting in phenol, which comes from benzene. It’s a white color, granular texture, but solid. Any substituted derivatives for this parent compound are also referred to as being hydroquinone. The name had been coined in the year of 1843 by Friedrich Wöhler. Tretinoin is also referred to as an all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), a medication that is used in the treatment for acne (applied to the area to be treated), including acute promyelocytic leukemia (taken orally). Hydroxy acids, including alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s), are chemical compounds that are in a class consisting of carboxylic acids. The associated carbons can use hydroxyl as a substitute. These compounds can occur naturally, but can occur as a synthetic as well. This is used by cosmetic industries, as they are used in different products, some for reducing wrinkles, some to soften, others to strengthen, as well as define fine lines or enhance the appearance of various skin problems. Additionally, they can be added to chemical peels. With continuous treatment within the cosmeceutical industry the results have stayed effective.

The skin of a human consists of several main components, which includes the underlaying vascular dermis and avascular epidermis. For topical compounds to work most effectively, it has to reach live cells inside the dermis by passing through the epidermal layer.

AHA’s refers to a carboxylic compound groups, which are organic and frequently added within various cosmetics and are similar to the ones that are in food products, such as malic acid, which can be found in apples; lactic acid in sour milk; glycolic acid in sugar cane; citric acid in citrus fruits; and tartaric acid in grape wine.

Although, sources suggest that the AHA’s used in the making of cosmetics to be predominantly synthetic, and many are fungal fermentations or of bacterial. In order for a topical compound to work effectively, and this includes AHA, which must penetrate deep into the skin to the live cells. Glycolic is an AHA, which is the compound that has the most bio-availability, can sink into the skin the easiest, having a molecular size that is the smallest, and largely is responsible for all the popularity that this product has received from cosmetic applications.