Condition & Treatments

Apr. 6, 2016

Age-spots (solar lentigines) are flat, vary in size and are tan, brown or black. They occur on the skin that has been most exposed to the sun over the years and showing up late in life usually around 50 and up but can show up earlier depending on sun exposure.  Melanin is the pigment in our skins upper layer (epidermis) that gives your skin its natural color. When exposed to UV light the production of melanin is accelerated creating a tan to protect the deeper layers of skin from UV rays. Over time the prolonged sun exposure produces high concentrations of melanin that become clumped which we call age spots. 

Also worth mentioning is the use of tanning beds and lamps as they also contribute to the development of age spots. Tanning beds emit mainly UVA radiation which is less likely to cause a sunburn. UVB being associated with sunburn and UVA has a deeper penetration of radiation associated with skin cancer. Tanning beds will age you faster not only by aiding in the development of age spots but also linked to immune system damage and malignant melanoma. My advise is to clearly stay away from them.

Prevention is key so a daily sunscreen is of most importance. There are treatments both for superficial pigmentation and deeper pigmentation.

Superficial Treatments:
Hydroquinone is used in many products for superficial age spots but there are safety concerns. Fortunately there are alternatives cream with 
Niacinamide (Vit.B), AHA's, Kojic Acid, Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid, Retinol, Astaxathin, Arbutin, Bearberry and more. It is a gradual process and 
takes time. can also be combined with mild superficial peels such as AHA,s BHA's, Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, TCP(Jessners a mild version).
This light peels are in low concentrations of 10% to 25%, medium peels concentrations of 35% to 70% (should be done by a trained esthetician).
These peels may also be combined with microdermabrasion & or photo LED light therapy also called photo rejuvenation and a series of 3 to 6 peels is recommended. Sun exposure should also be avoided after peels. 

 Fraxel Non- Ablative laser performed by a physician can improve mild to moderated skin damage with less down time and sometimes none. Non-ablative laser will require 3 to 6 treatments spaced apart your physician will determine that. The results are progressive you will see full results in 6 months.

Deeper Treatments: 
Depending on one's skin there are many different treatments to address deeper pigmentation and a consultation with your dermatologist will help to determine what's best for you. There are Chemical peels that penetrate into the dermis Phenol being the strongest. A TCP peel (trichloroacetic acid)
at 35% to 50% is powerful. Sometimes layering with less aggressive peeling agents like Jessners or Glycolic 70% with 25% TCA may be used also.
Expect up to 2 weeks down time. 

Another option is Cryrotherapy ~ Freezing treating the pigmented areas with liquid nitrogen. Caution: If this goes too deep it can leave a white spot.
Laser therapy and Plused light therapy are other options which also addresses many other skin issues. The light from the laser can destroy the pigment without harming the surrounding tissue. Ablative laser resurfacing will heat up the underneath skin promoting collagen production and removing the upper layers of skin. Healing can take up to 2 to 3 weeks revealing new skin cells and a smoother more toned and even appearance.
You will see the full effects of the treatment in 3 to 6 months.

Below are some recommended products you might want to explore.

This product Civant has proven to be very effective and safe click on the link to learn more about!

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Cell Revive Brightening Serum is also a wonderful natural product for superficial spots

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