Age Spots (Liver Spots)

Dark spots on the skin—also known as hyperpigmentation, age spots, solar lentigines, or liver spots, depending on their cause—can happen at any time, but most often appear in middle age. Most often, they are a consequence of past sun exposure or artificial UV light used in tanning beds. The spots are also associated with certain skin conditions and can occur as a side effect of some medications as well. Dark spots are generally harmless, but there are times when they could be cancerous

As we age our skin goes through many changes. Some of these changes have to do with fluctuations in our hormones, which can cause acne or dark spots or patches (melasma). Stress can cause chemicals called neuropeptides to flood your skin and wreak havoc. They increase inflammation, widen blood vessels, increase skin permeability and generate excessive moisture. Stress hormones such as cortisol can cause outbreaks of acne, just as the overproduction of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH), caused by stress can ccreate melasma outbreaks.

Skin Conditions

There are several different skin conditions and diseases that can cause dark spots and areas, though these are not the same as age-related dark spots. They include:

  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: Skin discoloration following an inflammatory lesion, like acne
  • Melasma: Also known as pregnancy mask
  • Linea nigra: A dark, vertical line that appears lengthwise down the middle of the abdomen during pregnancy
  • Chloasma: Darkened skin due to hormonal changes
  • Riehl’s Melanosis: A form of contact dermatitis that’s believed to be caused by sun exposure
  • Poikiloderma of Civatte: A benign condition that turns parts of the neck a reddish-brown color
  • Erythromelanosis follicularis: A condition that’s characterized by reddish-brown pigmentation of the face and neck

Treatment

Acupuncture helps in diagnosing body’s imbalances After feeling your pulses and looking at your tongue, we evaluate whether your skin condition is due to chi (Qi )stagnation—deficiency or excess in the liver, kidney, heart, spleen or lung Qi). Acupuncture points are then used to balance the hormones, and treat any excesses or deficiencies.

In addition to correcting any imbalances in your hormones or organ systems, acupuncture induces a deep state of relaxation. The results of acupuncture facial rejuvenation are a more even-toned, healthy, youthful looking skin, a clearer complexion, and a more peaceful state of mind. There are no scars, down time or side effects (other than a more tranquil state of being).

Prevention

As you age, dark spots may be inevitable. However, the bests way to help avoid getting dark spots (or to prevent faded ones from returning) include:

  • Use SPF: Be diligent about wearing and reapplying sunscreen every two hours or sooner if you’ve been swimming or sweating a lot.
  • Cover up: When outdoors, wear a hat (broad-brimmed is best), long sleeves, and pants. SPF fabrics can offer added protection.
  • Avoid peak sun hours: UV exposure is usually greatest between the hours of 10 a.m.to 2 p.m.
  • Detoxify your body ( ozone therapy, chelation therapy) once in a while
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