Health Blog

Health Blog: Skin Spots - Treatment and Prevention

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Skin spots are those unsightly dark spots affecting most men and women as they age. The spots, also called liver spots or brown spots, appear on the face and hands, and are wrongly believed to be a sign of aging. In reality, age spots are caused by the sun, demonstrated by the fact that the spots appear on the skin in areas naturally exposed to the sun. As the sun damages the skin over time, melanin deposits are developed, causing sunspots. The good news is that there are treatments available to remove or to lighten them. Some treatments are more effective than others and results depend on the method used.

Professional Skin Treatments for Skin Spots

The fastest and more effective way to get rid of sunspots can be found at the dermatologist office and professional skin care specialists. Visiting a professional is the only way to see effective results in a short time. The following are the latest treatments available. Note that whichever the method chosen, sun protection is strongly advised following any treatment.

- Laser Therapy. Laser therapy destroys dark spots without damaging the skin's surface. After treatment, dark spots fade gradually over several days or weeks. Laser treatments will also result in an overall improvement in skin texture and tone. There are many types of laser treatments, depending on the stage of the spots, consult with a specialist to determine the right one.

- Microdermabrasion. This procedure consists of sanding down the surface layer of the skin. Removing the skin’s surface allows for a new layer of skin to grow. A series of treatments might be necessary to remove dark spots. A side effect of dermabrasion is a general improvement of skin tone.

- Chemical Peels. One of the quickest and easiest ways to treat sunspots is a chemical peel. A chemical peel involves applying an acid – glycolic acid being the most popular – which burns the outer layer of the skin As the skin peels, new skin forms to take its place.

Home Treatments for Skin Spots

There are no fast-fix creams available that can make dark spots disappear. Bleaching creams may gradually fade the spots over several months. In addition, the use of topical creams are effective when confined to the winter months making their use impractical in areas where the sun is always shinning. Regardless, a rigid system of sun protection is strongly recommended when using over the counter treatments to avoid additional pigmentation.

- Bleaching Products. Preparations are available in cream, gel or lotion formulas. The most common ingredients are Hydroquinone, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, or Retinoids, ingredients used mainly for skin exfoliation. A few are by prescription and many, equally effective, products are available without a prescription. The FDA regulates the specific drugs and maximum approved concentrations of ingredients therefore, results are standard for all products. Some of the brands available are Porcelana Fade Dark Spots Nighttime Treatment, Ponds Clarant B3 Dark Spot Correcting Moisturizer, Vita-K Solution Professional Treatment for Age Spots, Skin Essentials Age Spot Treatment and many others.

Preventing Skin Spots is the Best Therapy

With age, the skin is more susceptible to sun damage. The skin contains melanin pigments that absorb sunlight and deflect UV rays. However, with age, the skin’s natural ability to deflect the UV rays begins to deteriorate and as a result, sunspots develop. Considering these facts, preventing spots requires sun avoidance and sun protection.

- Sun Avoidance. Cutting down exposure to the sun will help prevent further dark spots. Some exposure to the sun is unavoidable but wearing sunglasses and a hat during the peak periods of the day –between 11 am and 4 pm can provide a good amount of protection. At the beach, an umbrella is a must to avoid excessive exposure that leads to burning of the skin.

- Sun Protection. Make sun protection a habit. Use sunscreen first thing in the morning along with the regular morning skin routine applying on face, neck, and hands. Do not forget to re-apply sunscreen while enjoying outdoor activities such as swimming, golfing, or jogging. When choosing a sunscreen look for SPF 15 or higher. Look for ingredients such as Meroxyl or Helioplex, which are very effective against harmful sun rays.

Sunspots should not be a reflection of age. Those dark spots are simply skin’s submission to the harmful rays of the sun. Fighting back by eliminating them and preventing future spots from appearing is neither impossible nor difficult. Keep in mind that whether opting for a professional treatment or home treatments to get rid of age spots stay out of the sun and use sunscreen. Without protection, those sunspots are going to come right back.
Tags: skin care
Health and Wellness