Expert Q&A

Vitamin E: Does it prevent age spots?

Can vitamin E prevent age spots on skin?

-Kim from California

Brown spots (also known as liver spots) show up on skin during aging, and are the result of pigment build-up over a lifetime of sun exposure. Vitamin E has long been promoted as a “cure” for these spots, based perhaps on its antioxidant properties. In fact, there is no evidence that taking large doses of vitamin E will have any effect age spots. Rubbing pure vitamin E on age spots doesn’t help either, and can cause a rash for people whose skin is sensitive to straight vitamin E. Creams and lotions that contain vitamin E in lower amounts might provide general help in protecting skin from sun damage, but not specific help with existing age spots. Still, many websites and product labels continue to advocate vitamin E as a treatment. If age spots are a concern for you, a dermatologist can recommend more effective ways to deal with them. The most you can do on your own is to prevent further sun damage with skin protection and sunscreen.

Donna Feldman, MS, RD
Contributing Expert

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