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Q: Is there anything I can do to avoid age spots?

A: Age spots have been a big topic of conversation recently in the salon. Age spots, also called liver spots, are flat, discolored areas, mostly circular in shape, that usually appear on the upper body. They range from deep brown to light tan in color. Although there are many contributing factors, the main cause of age spots is exposure to the sun. Others may include impaired liver function, an overabundance of free radicals in the body, poor diet, and genetic predisposition. The best way to avoid age spots is to use sun block and protective clothing and limit the time you spend in direct sunlight. Other measures include drinking plenty of water, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. Unfortunately, some people develop age spots despite preventive measures. If you notice any unusual skin blemishes, have them evaluated by a medical professional. Some skin cancers go untreated because people mistake them for age spots, freckles, or moles.