Dealing with sun spots

When we return from sunning ourselves abroad, with the children are back at school, it would be a good time to take a look at ourselves and see what damage (if any) the sun did to us while we were busy enjoying ourselves.

If you look at young skin, it is almost always clear with an even tone. Sunspots don’t normally appear until the late 30’s or early 40’s. The best way to reduce or avoid sun spots is to take less sun. This, however, tends to be less fun. The next best way to prevent spots is to look after our livers (hence the name “liver spots”) and ingest more antioxidants. Melanocytes are your melanin or colour producing cells, and over time with exposure to the sun, these fatty pigments or lipids clump together and bring about sun spots. They tend to be uneven in pigmentation and of varying shapes and sizes and begin to appear all over the body. They commonly appear on the backs of hands, face and forearms and eventually form anywhere that might be exposed to the sun.

FOODS TO AVOID

  • Fried and barbecued foods, saturated fats found in dairy products and fatty meats.
  • Mass produced refined foods and pre prepared meals are full of hydrogenated and trans fats, not to mention sugar, which all have an ageing affect on the skin.
  • Non organic foods. These foods can be high in additives and pesticides. These chemicals play a big part in the clumping together of the fatty pigments.
  • Alcohol and fatty foods generally put a strain on the liver making it harder for it to break down the fatty clumps.

FRIENDLY FOODS

  • To avoid the build up of sun spots, it is important that the body eliminates unwanted fatty deposits properly. Lecithin granules or capsules found in all health shops will gently maintain the breakdown and elimination of these fatty deposits. Lecithin is found naturally in soya products and eggs.
  • Eat more antioxidant rich foods, organic fruit and vegetables such as carrots, apricots, pumpkin, broccoli, pak choy, tomatoes and dark berries.
  • Olive oil and tahini contain good fats and can be used to replace hydrogenated margarine and spreads.

USEFUL REMEDIES

Two excellent antioxidants that are very helpful in the break down and processing of the fatty deposits that cause sun spots are:

  • “Beta – Carotene Natural” (1 capsule daily with food).
  • “Metalipoate 300” (1 tablet twice a day).
  • “Liver Support” is also great and does what is says on the pot. (2 capsules daily with food).
  • 1 gram of vitamin C is also recommended, try “Ultra Potent C 1000”. (1 capsule a day).

All the supplements mentioned are available via NUTRI on 0800 212 742.

 

HELPFUL HINTS

We all know the benefits of sun screen so apply regularly while on holiday.

  • Most sun damage is done before the age of 16. So keep the young covered with high protection factor and avoid midday exposure when possible.
  • Use an antioxidant rich cream containing grape seed extract, and vitamins C and E, on the spots daily if time allows.
  • Cigarettes age the skin badly. If you smoke, you know what to do.
  • If the spots are too large or dark and you want to get rid of them quickly, speak to your dermatologist about laser treatment. This is highly effective when executed properly.

 

 

 

  • Dr Marc Farah