People of all ages can and will experience age spots at some point in their lives. These age spots are also known as liver spots or sunspots and typically begin to appear in people 50 years and older. These nonthreatening blemishes are usually found in areas of the skin that experience high sun exposure, like the hands, arms, shoulders and face. These spots of varying shape and size are reminiscent of freckles but do not share the same ability to fade away as freckles do. Continue reading to learn more about age spots.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF AGE SPOTS?
Just as they sound, sunspots are caused by high exposure to the sun or UV rays from tanning beds. UV light causes the pigment cells in our skin to become overactive, producing large amounts of melanin that become clustered or clumped together in a sunspot. People with lighter skin and high sun exposure tend to be at greater risk of developing age spots over time.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR AGE SPOTS?
Luckily for us, age spots can be lightened and sometimes removed entirely through treatment. The choice of treatments ranges from minor topical creams to microdermabrasion and laser therapy. These cosmetic treatments range in length and intensity and are offered at the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, PLLC.
To learn which topical treatment products are best for you, seek advice from your dermatologist, as there are many options. While treatment options are available without prescription or recommendation, it’s still important to talk with your dermatologist to get the best, safest results for your skin’s needs. For example, some age spot reducing creams and lotions are effective but require consistent use to have the desired cosmetic effect.
Microdermabrasion is a 30 minute, minimally invasive treatment that helps promote microcirculation, oxygen production and collagen production. The procedure uses a pen-like tool to apply pressure and remove dead skin in a constant sweeping gesture. You can expect some redness and flaky skin after this procedure for a few hours to a few days.
This procedure can treat various things, ranging from uneven pigmentation to loose skin, oil production -- and even age spots! Microdermabrasion is also effective when used in combination with other treatments.
A chemical peel procedure is when a chemical mixture is placed on your face, hands, neck or chest that results in peeling and exfoliation that reveals renewed, healthier skin underneath. Chemical peels are unique in that there are different mixtures for different desired levels of peeling.
When you schedule an appointment for a chemical peel, our Clinical Cosmetic Specialist will assess your needs and create an individualized treatment plan. For example, your Clinical Cosmetic Specialist will use a different peel for age spots than for other treatments.
Laser devices with specific wavelengths use directed laser energy to treat pigmented areas without damaging the skin's surface. This treatment is remarkable in that it treats the affected area without any damage to the surrounding skin. The procedure is short and non-invasive, with minimal discomfort for patients. The effectiveness of the treatment can vary depending on the treatment area, intensity and color.
At the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, PLLC, we have two different laser devices, the Vbeam Perfecta and the Gentle Max Pro, to address pigment concerns. Our Clinical Cosmetic Specialist will choose the appropriate device for your needs.
Photodynamic Therapy is a light therapy treatment that combines with a UV reactive agent to reduce precancerous cells, sun damage, wrinkles and more. This simple procedure will last for a couple of hours and typically causes mild swelling that can be treated with intermittent icing. This one to two-hour process is long but unique in its ability to treat potentially anything, including cancerous skin cells. If you’d like to learn more about treating age spots, check out our blog Is Sun Damage Reversible?
Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that allows tiny needles to create controlled micro-injuries to the skin. The skin's repair process results in a thicker epidermis and a softer appearance to the affected area. This aids in collagen and elastin production, effectively treating fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, acne scars and raised scars.
At the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, PLLC, we use a microneedling tool called the SkinPen. The SkinPen offers a minimally invasive, non-ablative option for rejuvenating the skin. This micro-needling tool utilizes needles that penetrate the skin at a 90-degree angle, creating hundreds of small, vertical routes to the dermis so that your skin’s natural healing factor is triggered. If you would like to learn more about the SkinPen, check out our blog, SkinPen Microneedling Treatment: Does it Work?
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT AGE SPOTS?
To avoid the appearance of age spots, take extra care to protect your skin from the sun. Using sunscreen and protective clothing that covers your skin is essential in protecting and preventing skin damage. You can also avoid going outside during the hours of 10 A.M. and 4 P.M. as this is when the sun’s rays are the most intense. You can find medical-grade, individualized products to protect and moisturize your skin at the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, PLLC.
If you’re interested in topical treatment through products, you should start with a good sunscreen. Protecting your skin from the sun with proper sunscreen and moisturizing products is essential for healthy, beautiful skin. In addition, using the right sunscreen will help reduce the likelihood of developing age spots and protect you from skin damage and cancer from the sun’s intense UV rays.
AGE SPOT TREATMENT AND PREVENTION AT THE DERMATOLOGY CENTER FOR SKIN HEALTH, PLLC
The Dermatology Center for Skin Health, PLLC, can help you understand which option best suits your needs and provides youthful, beautiful results. Our skilled team is ready to help you reclaim your youth and build confidence with the help of experienced professionals and high-quality treatment options that are right for your skin. If you are interested in a complimentary skin care consultation with our Clinical Cosmetic Specialist, Karen or if you have any questions, contact us today at (304) 598-3888 or online here.
We look forward to helping you achieve your skin care goals!