The Toll of Facial Discoloration
February 27, 2015
Aging may seem straightforward and one-dimensional, but the process is much more complicated and individual than most people realize. While the most obvious signs of aging are wrinkling and sagging skin, there are other changes that can make a big difference in how you look as you get older. Overall skin quality decreases over time, and the effects of years of sunbathing can take a major toll on your complexion, with skin discoloration known as “age spots” or “liver spots” creeping up slowly but surely. This type of discoloration can take a major toll on your overall appearance, and exacerbate other symptoms of aging. Ready for some good news? It is possible to improve the appearance of age spots with cosmetic treatments.
Treatments for Age Spots, Freckles and Sun Damage
Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of the skin, and it can be caused by hormones or sun damage. Age spots and freckles can appear on any area of the body, but are most often concentrated on the face, hands, and chest areas, and can make you look much older than you are. Today, there are a number of minimally invasive treatments available for reducing the number and severity of age spots in many different locations. Popular options include:
Chemical peels are an attractive option for treating discoloration due to their customizable nature and reliable results. Many patients use the lightest peels as skin refreshers, but some medium depth peels can produce improvement in hyperpigmentation and age spots. Chemical peels are performed by applying a special chemical mixture to the face in order to destroy dead and damaged skin cells in a controlled manner, allowing fresh, new skin to emerge once the skin has finished peeling. Recovery times vary on the type and intensity of the peel, but light to medium peels require little downtime.
FotoFacial Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment
Using elos technology (bipolar radiofrequency and light energies) to target unwanted pigment and improve overall skin tone, FotoFacial is a gentle process that is safe and nearly painless with little downtime. Skin continues to improve after treatment. Best of all, FotoFacial is safe for all skin types.
PhotoDynamic Therapy (PDT)
PDT Therapy is a new and exciting method for treating sun damaged skin and hyperpigmentation. Several gentle treatments are needed at three-week intervals for satisfactory fading of age spots and freckles, and the number required depends on the patient. The process involves the application of certain products such as aminolevulinic acid or Levulan Kerastick to prep the skin, with an LED Blue Light or IPL wavelength then used on the treatment area to improve the condition of the skin and reduce sun damage. Patients must stay out of the sun for several days following each treatment and can expect some redness and swelling resembling a severe sunburn. This will fade within about a week on average.
There are many different laser treatments available, ranging from gentle to invasive. More invasive laser treatments offer better results in general, but do involve a certain amount of downtime and discomfort and will generally cost more. Laser treatments work by heating the deep layers of skin to encourage new skin growth and stimulate collagen production, which can help treat sun damage and pigmentation issues while improving the youth and beauty of the skin overall.
No matter how old you are, prevention is important for avoiding future sun damage and maintaining results after skin treatments for unwanted pigmentation such as age spots. The most critical aspect of prevention and maintenance is protecting the skin from the harmful rays of the sun. If you want glowing, beautiful skin, you should be wearing sunscreen at all times, not just during the hottest days of summer. The sun produces radiation whether it is hot outside or not, and these ultraviolet rays cause accelerated aging and skin cancer. UV rays can make it through most glass too, so be cautious when driving or sitting next to windows.
A good skincare routine can also help keep your skin in good condition, including proper cleansing, moisturizing, and exfoliating. Stronger anti-aging creams can sometimes help as well, including retinol or prescription hydroquinone (bleaching) products.
Choosing Your Procedure
When it comes to cosmetic procedures, you should always seek the help of a board certified plastic surgeon, whether you’re seeking a simple chemical peel or a more intense treatment. While this may seem unnecessary, most procedures do involve some risk, no matter how small, and should only be administered by an expert. In addition, choosing an experienced provider will help you get the most noticeable, lasting results from your treatments.
If you are seeking assistance in the Dearborn or Birmingham, Michigan, areas, come to Masri Clinic for Laser & Cosmetic Surgery to meet with our highly qualified team of board certified physicians. Our experts offer a range of treatments to suit your needs and are standing by to consult with you about your goals for treatment. Call 866-487-3223 to schedule your free consultation.