Monday, November 14, 2011

What Causes age spots?

When we ask yourself what Causes spots? you should ask your self about your age 

What Causes Age Spots? The sun does. The term ‘age spots’, or lentigines, refers to the brownish spots that, over time appear on your face and body as a result of overexposure to the sun. As we age our skin is subjected to more and more sun damage. Our skin has what is called ‘melanin pigment’ which absorbs sunlight and helps naturally protect our skin from UV rays. However as we age, our skin's natural ability to fend off UV rays from the sun begins to deteriorate, and as a result, we see the development of age spots. These age spots can be effectively treated with laser.

What is Happening in the Skin?

There are a couple different types of brown spots that people get on their skin. There are solar lentigos (age spots) and freckles (known as ephiledes). These come from the sun and that's because the sun damages the melanocytes, which are the cells in the epidermis (the skin's surface layer) that produce melanin pigment. Most of the cells in our epidermis are skin cells that form the dead skin layer as well as keratin that protects us from the outside world, but one in every tenth or twentieth cell is a melanocyte which produces melanin pigment and transfers this brown pigment to our skin cells to help protect us against the sun. Some people, like me, have almost no melanin pigment and our skin does not do a good job of protecting us from the sun. Dark-skinned people do a much better job of protecting themselves from the sun. When the sun attacks me and other light-skinned people, my body does not know how to respond properly. As a result it can cause abnormal melanin pigment in the form of freckles and brown spots.

Sun Spot is More Accurate

‘Age Spots’ actually have nothing to do with how old you are, they have to do with how long you've been in the sun. I prefer the term ‘sun spot’ rather than ‘liver spot’ or ‘age spot’ because that is what they are from and is more appropriate.

Are they Cancerous?

The most important thing if you see any pigmented lesion on your skin is to not assume that it’s benign. If you notice a lesion on your skin, especially if it has any changes in color or shape, you should see a dermatologist to determine if they are cancerous or something to be concerned about. You may need to have a biopsy performed to determine if the lesion is benign or not. Once the doctor has determined that it is benign, there are a variety of lasers that can be used to improve or remove it.

Does Tanning Cause Age Spots?

Tan skin is not healthy skin. A tan is our body’s way of telling us our skin has been damaged, and its attempt to protect itself from further damage. As we undergo UVA and UVB light exposure from the sun’s rays or from tanning beds, we are damaging our skin, which will lead to age spots (solar lentigines), sun spots, liver spots, poikiloderma (reddish–brown areas of discoloration) and melasma (mottled brownish areas).

Prevention is Possible

Preventing age spots requires sun avoidance and sun protection. Most of the sun damage we receive occurs while we are driving. Car window glass protects us from 100% of the UVB light (the light which causes a burn) but none of the UVA, the light responsible for sun damage and aging skin. I advise all of my patients to have UVA-protecting film installed on their car windows. This may be tinted or clear. This will help prevent much of the sun damage which causes age, liver, or brown spots.

Sunscreen All Day, Every Day

The second thing I recommend is to wear sunscreen ALL THE TIME. Even if you already have sun damaged skin, it’s never too late to start. This will help prevent further damage and age spotting.

What Causes Spots ?

What causes spots ?

This one question, “What Causes Spots And Acne” really used to drive me mad.  I just couldn’t work out why some people got spots and others never even had a pimple!  I saw six different dietitians and doctors in my hunt for the cure and each one of them told me that same thing ……
It’s just unlucky that your body is built the way it is.

They all told me that the number one cause of acne and spots is your hormones, something that you just cannot control.  It seems that when your body starts to produce the sex hormone known as androgen, your body just gets a little carried away and gets covered in spots.  You would probably already noticed that the biggest sufferers of spots and acne are teenagers (don’t worry, I was way past teens too) and they get it when their body starts to change and evolve into adulthood.

It seems that when the body starts to get enough of this ‘androgen’ into it’s system, it also starts producing sebum, the natural oil in the skin and this combined with the dead skin cells found naturally on the skin, bacteria that lives on all of us too, you have the exact ingredients or the main causes of spots and acne.
And what you should know when you ask your self "What Causes Spots ?"
Stress is also a major factor in causing spots and acne, so the more stressed out we get about it, the worst our skin is likely to get.  When our bodies are stressed, they start to produce more hormones or increase the hormones that we have already, one of the new hormones that it produces in times of stress is cortisol, this little bugger is known to aggravate acne and spots!

Acne is a skin infection that what causes spots and blackheads and in severe cases can cause scarring. Acne normally starts at the onset of puberty and normally lasts up to the age of 25-30, which is why acne is normally associated with teenagers, although for some people it may be lifelong. 80% of the population may be affected at some time of their life. Acne spots normally occur on the face, neck,chest, back and upper arm.
It is generally thought that acne is caused by skin over-reacting to hormones, probably the male hormone testosterone. More men suffer from acne than women because of their higher levels of testosterone. Skin is covered with tiny hair follicles each with a gland that produces an oily substance called sebum. In some people the gland becomes over-active producing more oil which mixes with dead skin cells and blocks the follicle. An infection then builds up behind the blockage causing acne.

Acne spots develop in several ways. Blackheads and whiteheads form when the follicle is blocked. These can become infected as the oil builds up and infection then causes the characteristic acne spots to appear. The acne spots can be either a raised spot, a pus spot or a hard lump. Large spots can leave scars.
Acne is unsightly and, apart from the risk of scarring, acne can cause long term psychological effects.

Itchy Spots

If you are suffering from itchy spots you should consult your physician. Itchy spots can be caused a number of things, such as ezcema or an allergy, and he may recommend seeing a dermatologist if the problem persists.

Does Food Cause Acne?

Diet may have an effect and it is worth experimenting to see whether a particular food causes an increase in acne. Obviously it is commonsense to eat a healthy diet based on the 5 a day principle.

Does Stress Cause Acne?

Teenagers are often emotionally insecure. It is a time of pressure, exams, uncertainty about their future, can all lead to stress. Developing acne is a Catch 22 situation with anxiety about their appearance worsening the situation. Stress can also cause acne in adults even though they may not have suffered before.

Does Masturbation Cause Acne?

No - this is another acne myth. Acne is an infection caused when hair follicles become blocked. Squeezing blackheads and spots may cause the infection to go deeper, increasing the acne and risk of scarring.

There is a misconception that poor hygiene causes acne. The blockage causing acne starts deep within the skin and is unrelated to dirt. In fact over-cleansing with exfoliates can dry out the skin and cause the body to produce more oil. The acne spots may become damaged and the infection spread. Cleaning an acne area should always be done gently.

Start treating acne as soon as it appears, don't wait until it has spread. Remember the skin is delicate, you cannot scour acne away so treat it gently. Understand the causes of acne and hopefully you will be able to control it.