As we get older, we do what we can to camouflage the signs. We dye our hair; we buy creams to keep our skin soft; and sometimes splurge on the anti-wrinkle stuff that costs so much even at the drugstore.
But there's not a lot we can do for age spots, and other growths on our skin that begin popping up on our faces, hands, and other body parts after age 40. These growths, called seborrheic keratoses (SKs), can be flat or raised, and range in color from tan to dark brown. They're not pretty, and even the so-called pricey lotions don't always make them go away, at least not forever.
Well, now scientists think they've found a fix, at least in the lab. While trying to figure out why SKs become cancerous and others are perfectly harmless, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital noticed that an enzyme was necessary for their survival. And blocking that enzyme made them go away.
The enzyme blocker is called A44, and it targets SKs cells so the age spots and growths disintegrate--in 48 hours. The next step for researchers is to find a way to turn A44 into a topical cream. Clinical trails should begin in the near future.
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