The skin is the largest organ in the body and the first to be affected by any condition, be it good or bad. As it is said, a close look at the skin can tell all about the overall health of the person.
Age spots are little, flat, brown spots that are an indication of serious underlying conditions. They are most common on the face, neck and hands. With regular metabolism, the free radical damage in the body produces lipofuscin. This accumulates, leading to gradual destruction of the body's cells including vital organs like liver, brain and heart. These brown age spots are therefore a cause of concern and should be attended to immediately.
The good news, however, is that there are ways to prevent and even reverse these age spots. It not only has cosmetic benefits, but improves overall health by reducing and eliminating wastes. Read on to know some common, effective ways to beat these spots. The treatment works on two levels that is general where the whole body is covered and topical where skin is worked upon.
- Diet: Eat a diet rich in fiber, containing fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds. This will provide various minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients for your body. Avoid animal based proteins, fried oily foods, excessive sugars and salt and processed foods. Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake.
- Exercise: A good workout helps to remove toxins, thereby reducing the likelihood of age spots appearing in the first place. It can also help reverse the effects of ageing that has already set in.
- Stay hydrated: While moisturizers do have a good role to play, it cannot hydrate the body from within. Plenty of water is required also to flush out toxins and wastes from the body, which can accelerate ageing.
- Topical: In addition to general measures, the following topical measures are useful in beating the age spots.
- Cleansing the skin: Skin is constantly exposed to dust and heat and pollution and frequent cleaning, even with plain water, will work wonders.
- Scrubbing the skin: A good scrub, be it from the shelves or made at home, is a good effective way to further clean the skin of dead cells and making way for fresh cells to emerge.
- Sun Protection: It is believed that 90% of the skin damage happens due to exposure to sun. Using a sunscreen goes a long way in preventing skin damage including spots, dark circles and even cancer.
- Moisturizing the skin: Using honey, glycerin, or any other product that hydrates the skin will have long-term benefits in reducing ageing.
- Antioxidant creams: There are proven creams and natural products that contain antioxidants and control ageing of the skin, thereby reducing age spots.
There are many cosmetic ingredients that can actually have a negative effect on your skin in the long run. The skin is a layer that must be taken care of. This does not merely include staying away from pollutants and dirt and cleaning your skin with the best products. It also means staying away from the wrong cosmetics and ingredients which can harm your skin. So let us look at the ten elements from the world of cosmetics that can do more harm than good for the skin.
1. Carcinogens in Lipsticks: This cosmetic ingredient can suck the moisture out of your lips and leave it looking discoloured in the long run. The carcinogenic oils and chemicals that are contained in many long wear lipsticks can damage the delicate skin leaving it exposed to the risk of cancer as well.
2. Benzoyl Peroxide: This is a toxic element that can be found in a number of cosmetics and must be avoided at all costs as it may also expose you to the risk of cancer.
3. Synthetic Colors: The use of synthetic colours in many cosmetics helps you in getting that unique colour of your eyes, cheeks and even lips. But did you know that too much use of this product can actually harm your skin? This is due to the coal tar source of the ingredient which is a skin irritant.
4. Parabens: These widely used preservatives can be found in a number of cosmetics like body washes, shampoos, facial cleansers and even deodorants. This has elements that can cause breast cancer with its estrogen mimicking effects.
5. Triclosan: This antimicrobial chemical also acts as an endocrine disruptor, which can have an adverse effect on the thyroid glands as well as the production of the reproductive hormones. It can be found in soaps and toothpaste.
6. Bleach Cream: Hydroquinone cream is one of the most commonly used ingredients in bleach creams, which causes significant damage to the skin. This also breaks down the essential natural oils of the skin to cause redness and rashes.
7. Acrylates in Nail Paint: These chemicals are usually found in acrylic nail paint and can cause cellular damage on the skin and can cause neurological problems and organ toxicity.
8. Fragrance: The chemical and synthetic fragrances used in many perfumes can be found in detergents and fabric softeners as well, which can have a harsh effect on one’s skin.
9. Dioxin: This is an ingredient used in many cosmetics and it may cause malfunctioning of the nervous system as well as rashes on the skin.
10. Wax: Wax is an ingredient can cause bleeding and lead to changes in the direction of the growth of hair from hair follicles. It can also make the skin rough in the long run.
The term pigmentation generally has to do with the colour of something. So, in the case of people, it refers to the colour of their skin. So what is exactly hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation? How should a person go about dealing with conditions such as these?
Melanin is a chemical, which provides the skin with its colour. In case of hyperpigmentation, what occurs is that the amount of melanin in the skin increases beyond normal. Now the reasons for this are quite diverse, to say the very least. As a matter of fact, pregnancy could be a cause, as could medications such as antibiotics or antimalarial medicines (medicines to fight off malaria). Addison’s disease could also be a cause.
On the other hand, hypopigmentation refers to the situation in which the amount of melanin in the skin falls below what it should be, under normal circumstances. While there are quite a few causes for this, the primary culprits happen to be burns or injuries. In certain cases, a person may have the sort of situation which occurs in the case of hypopigmentation as a result of having another condition. This generally happens in cases of albinism or vitiligo, which have affected the skin.
So, what is to be done if a person has hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation?
After all, while this may be the issue of the skin, the impact they have on a person’s self-confidence are more than just skin deep! With hyperpigmentation, exposure to sunlight directly should be limited to a great extent as possible. If there is going to be some sort of exposure, it is important to use adequate amount of sunscreen so that the impact on the skin is reduced. The sunscreen should surely contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. The reason for this is the fact that UV rays are blocked by these two chemicals. This is quite a good thing, considering these rays are the ones which can cause the most damage to skin with hyperpigmentation.
When it comes to hypopigmentation, conditions such as vitiligo or albinism do not have cures. So, they can only be managed to the best extent that is possible. Cosmetics can be used in order to improve the appearance of the person. In addition to this, sunscreen should be used in this case due to the risk that exposure to the sun might affect a person who has hypopigmentation. While this occurs in all sorts of people, it is especially seen in people of Caucasian descent.