Liver spots are medically termed ‘Lentigos” and are also known as age spots. They are sharply defined light brown to black flat patches of skin that appear on the face and backs of the hands, looking somewhat like a large freckle. They may measure up to (25 mm) 1 inch in size.
Who is most at risk of developing these spots?
The spots most commonly develop in people of middle age and older. They are more common in people who have spent a lot of time in the sun.
What causes the spots?
The spots are brought out by exposure to the sun. The color is due to pigments within the epidermis (top skin layer) cells. Many people have a hereditary predisposition to develop liver spots. Free radicals are unstable atoms in the body that start a domino type effect leading to damage of cellular components such as DNA. Over time this can lead to many conditions attributable to cellular damage such as skin conditions including liver spots.
What can be done about these spots?
As sun exposure plays a role in the development of liver spots, it is advisable to stay out of the sun. Cover up when outside and use a good quality sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) as part of your daily skin care regime. Improving the liver function is important to prevent and manage skin conditions of any description including liver spots, as the liver is the major filter of the blood, thus it needs to be cleared of toxins that can build up in the system and create free radicals which promote cell damage in the skin.
The key to keeping free radical production to a minimum is to consume foods and supplements rich in “antioxidants”. These are molecules that in effect put a halt on the destructive ‘domino’ effect of the free radicals.
Are these spots dangerous?
These lesions are classed as ‘benign” or non cancerous. They are generally harmless and painless. The main effect is cosmetic – this may cause some distress.
Occasionally, a person may develop ‘keratosis’ which looks very similar to a liver spot. Keratosis is a pre-cancerous scaly red lesion. It is recommended that all people with dark freckles, moles or liver spots have a skin examination yearly.
Treatment and general recommendations
Avoid direct exposure to sunlight on the face and hands. Stay out of the sun particularly between 10am and 4pm when the UV exposure is greatest. If you do need to be outdoors at this time wear a large brimmed hat. Use a good quality sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15.
As stated above, consumption of foods high in natural antioxidants is the best insurance policy against free radical production. Follow the vital principles of eating in the “The Liver Cleansing Diet” book and make these principles a way of life. Aim to eat at least 5 servings of fruit or vegetables per day. To improve your liver function you must avoid ALL dairy foods including milk, cheese, cream, butter, ice cream, yogurt, milk chocolate, etc.
The fat content of milk is actually quite negligible in terms of weight loss; dairy foods contain high levels of antibiotics, steroids and artificial growth hormones as this is what the herds are treated with in today’s high tech dairies to prevent disease and boost milk production.
As with humans where substances go through into breast milk it is the same for cattle.
- Avoid ALL margarines and similar type spreads.
- Avoid deep fried and fatty foods.
- Avoid sugary, processed foods and drinks.
- Limit chicken and turkey that is not free range, as this contains artificial growth hormones, antibiotics and steroids that increase the liver’s workload.
- Drink 2 liters of water each day.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners (see www.dorway.com).
I have known about the incredible healing power of raw juices from a very young age. My grandmother’s life was saved by raw juicing back in the 1930s.
Raw juices are an incredibly powerful healing tool and can improve the function of the liver, bowels and kidneys. This increases the elimination of toxins and waste products from the skin. Carrot juice in particular is recommended as a good source of beta carotene – a precursor to vitamin A which is an important protector of the skin.
Here is a recommended juice from the “Raw Juices Can Save Your Life” book:
Skin Healing Juice
- 1 carrot
- 1 red apple – skin on
- 1/4 beetroot and tops
- 2 sticks celery and tops
- 1/2 cucumber
- 2 spinach or dandelion leaves
- 1 grapefruit or orange (retain as much white pith as possible)
- Wash, trim and chop and process in juicer.
- Can dilute with water or cold lemon and honey tea
Recommended supplements for liver spots
- Livatone Plus Powder or Capsules
Take 1 teaspoon of powder twice daily in juices or 2 capsules twice a day before meals – A good formula will consist of St Mary’s Thistle, B vitamins and taurine, which are useful for a liver tonic and liver supportive effect.
- MSM Plus Vitamin C
Take 1/2 teaspoon twice a day in juices or water – This is organic sulfur required by the body to form proteins and amino acids (including the sulfur bearing amino acids cysteine, methionine and taurine), which are essential for the liver to detoxify chemicals and toxins. Provides links for collagen synthesis. Maintains healthy strong skin, hair, teeth and nails. Works with vitamin C, B vitamins, and lipoic acid for health of all the body cells. Aids in the manufacture of bile and elimination of toxins, and is a powerful blood cleanser.
Take 1-2 capsules daily with food – A good high potency selenium based antioxidant formula is needed to assist in the protection of many parts of the body cells.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.