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Tips on Dealing with Age Spots

Tag Archives: age spots

Age spots, also known as dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and sunspots, are small, dark, and often flat areas on your skin. They are often visible on the sun-exposed parts of your body. However, sun exposure is not the only cause behind them. Factors such as aging and genetics also come into play.

Regardless of the causes, they often appear uninvited. Even though they won’t hurt you, the option of treating them is still available. Treatment can prevent new spots from developing or help the existing ones fade over time. Here are a few treatment options for age spots.

Skin-Lightening Creams and Lotions

Topical creams are one of the most common methods to lighten age spots. However, some products contain mercury which can be harmful to your health. Therefore, consult your healthcare professional and have them prescribe a safe product. Most topical cream prescriptions may contain hydroquinone, cortisone, and retinoids. These creams work to lighten your spots over time.

WHile some people may use skin lighteningng creams for the removal of age spots, anything with the following ingredients can be hazardous to health.

  • Mercury oxide
  • Mercury salts
  • Cinnabaris
  • Calomel
  • Quicksilver
  • Mercuric amidochloride
  • Hydrargyri oxydum rubrum

 

Some of them may also irritate the skin, so discussing side effects beforehand would help you decide on a product better. Apart from lightening creams, certain cosmetic procedures can also treat or lighten age spots. However, discussing options with your dermatologist before undergoing a procedure will help you decide better.

Cryosurgery

Cryosurgery is one of the most effective treatments for the removal of age spots. It freezes them with a liquid nitrogen solution, peeling your dark skin off from the body. If an experienced professional performs the procedure, it can prove to be a quick and effective treatment for age spots.

Prior to the procedure, a dermatologist will determine a patient’s medical history and proceed to conduct a physical exam. This is where patients can discuss risks, outcomes, and expectations associated with the procedure.

Even though avoiding aspirin and blood thinners for a certain amount of time before the procedure is the norm, details can vary depending on your condition. Your doctor may also recommend taking an anti-biotic half an hour before the procedure.

Side effects

Some temporary side effects include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Crusting
  • Pain

Laser Resurfacing

Another highly credible option for the removal of age spots is laser resurfacing or laser peeling. It removes the upper layers of skin by using a wand-like laser instrument to reveal newer cells. Moreover, it gives you a more even appearance by promoting collagen production in your skin.

age spots2 300x196 - Tips on Dealing with Age SpotsAs per the standard, a dermatologist usually reviews the patient’s medical history and proceeds for a physical exam where all the risks and outcomes are discussed. Usually, dermatologists recommend to avoid medications that affect blood clotting, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or vitamin E, for at least ten days before the surgery.

Side effects

Laser resurfacing, just like any other treatment, also has risks associated with it, such as:

  • Crusting
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Discoloration
  • Scarring
  • Infection

Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion refers to the surgical planing or sanding of the skin’s outer layer. It can be a great choice for the removal of age spots as the treated area appears refreshed and smoother. The results often last longer than the other options.

Make sure to discuss the potential risks and outcomes of the procedure as your dermatologist reviews your medical history before doing a physical exam. Dermabrasion candidates are usually expected to stop taking medications, such as aspirin, at least a week prior to the procedure. They might have to skip using some skincare products and limit sun exposure.

Side effects

Potential side effects of dermabrasion include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Scarring
  • Infection
  • Tissue damage
  • Loss of skin color

Experts recommend avoiding sun exposure and cleansing the site several times a day after the procedure.

Chemical peels

Chemical peeling is among some of the most popular options for the removal of age spots. As the name suggests, the procedure involves using a chemical solution to remove your old skin’s outer layer. The new skin that appears is usually less wrinkled and smoother in appearance. It is often recommended for fair-skinned individuals.

It’s important to discuss all risks, outcomes, and expectations associated with chemical peels  when you’re discussing your medical history with the professional. Moreover, experts recommend avoiding any supplements or medication that affects blood clotting, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or Vitamin E, for ten days prior to the surgery. They may also be told to avoid medications such as Renova or glycolic acid and Retin-A.

 

Side effects

Potential side effects of chemical peels include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Blisters (expected to peel off within seven to fourteen days)
  • Scarring
  • Reactivation of cold sores
  • Permanent or temporary change in skin color (especially for women who have a history of facial discoloration after being on birth control pills and subsequently becoming pregnant)

Patients might be asked to avoid direct exposure to sunlight for a couple of months. Light peels are also repeated in intervals of one to four weeks, while people repeat medium peels every six to twelve months.

While there are many ways to deal with age spots, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each method based on what would suit your skin best. Many factors come into play when choosing a treatment option, which is why we recommend acting on your dermatologist’s opinion.

A chemical peel is meant to stimulate growth of new cells, enhancing your skin’s appearance on the hands, neck and face. When the chemical solution is applied to the skin, it exfoliates and peels off. As a result, the new layer of skin has fewer wrinkles and appears smoother.

chemical peeling 1 300x200 - Chemical Peeling: Your Path to Getting New Skin

Types of Chemical Peels

Essentially, there are three types of chemical peels:

Superficial peel

This type of peel is suggested for skin with mild discoloration or roughness. The peel works for the face, hands, and neck, leaving it refreshed.

Medium peel

This treatment is done for moderate skin discoloration. It helps remove wrinkles, age spots and fine lines. The procedure consists of glycolic acid application to remove damaged skin cells. It’s also used on rough skin to smoothen it and to treat conditions such as actinic keratosis.

Deep peel

This procedure requires the application of trichloroacetic acid to penetrate the centre layer of skin and remove damaged skin cells. It improves shallow scars, freckles and age spots along with moderate lines. Even though it can only be performed once, it shows dramatic improvement in the appearance of your skin.

Why Do People Opt for Chemical Peels?

Peels are quite popular, and if done correctly, they can you the results you desire. However, it is to understand how different ingredients work on different skin types and the effect they have during and after treatment. Therefore, to have thorough knowledge about what a person may be getting themselves into, it is crucial to have a consultation and analysis and have realistic expectations about the results.

The type of chemical peeling the aesthetician suggests depends on your skin type and the results you want. Some concerns peeling helps address include:

  • Improving skin texture and tone
  • Anti-ageing
  • Reducing lines and wrinkles
  • Cell renewal
  • Open pores
  • Acne
  • Pigmentation and photodamage
  • Brighter skin
  • Skin structure renewal

How Are Chemical Peels Applied?

Light peel

During a light chemical peeling, the professional will apply a chemical solution to the target area using a brush, cotton ball or gauze. Once your skin starts to whiten, there may be a slight stinging sensation. Once the procedure is complete, the professional will peel the chemical solution off and add a neutralizing solution.

Medium peel

During most medium chemical peels, professionals use a special sponge or gauze to put the chemical solution on your skin. The solution may contain glycolic or trichloroacetic acid. Once your skin starts to whiten, a cool compress will be applied to it. You may feel a burning or stinging sensation for 20 minutes. Even though a neutralizing solution is not necessary, you can use a handheld fan to cool your skin. Since blue color is also added in the solution sometimes, your skin may appear blue for a few days following the peel.

Deep peel

You may be given sedation during a deep peel procedure. Your doctor may apply phenol using a cotton applicator. The procedure is usually performed in 15-minute sessions to avoid acid exposure on the skin.

Complications and Side Effects

The following may occur as a result of chemical peeling:

  • Scarring
  • Permanent or temporary change in skin color (mostly for women who are on birth control pills)
  • Cold sore reactivation
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Acne
  • Breakouts of spots
  • Herpes simplex

During the consultation, the possible side effects and complications should thoroughly be explained to the patient. Moreover, it is always a good idea to take pictures before and after the procedure for comparison.

Moreover, risks should always be minimized through:

  • Consultations
  • Good peel preparation skills
  • Good application skills
  • The right aftercare advice

Chemical Peeling Aftercare

 

Aftercare for Superficial Peeling

Superficial peeling is followed by slight redness and scaling, and may require up to seven days to heal. The following can be done in the meanwhile to fasten the healing process:

  • Apply lotion or cream till the skin heals
  • Use sunscreen daily
  • Make-up can be worn the next day

 

Aftercare for Medium Peeling

While medium peels often require up to 14 days to heal, it often takes less time. Moreover, your skin after medium peeling may be swollen or red, and there may also be swelling on the eyelids. The following tips could help reduce any side effects:

  • Soak your skin daily and then apply ointment
  • Take prescribed antiviral medication for 10 to 14 days
  • Apply mild lotion or cream
  • Avoid exposure to the sun
  • Don’t apply make-up immediately (wait for 5-7 days)

Aftercare for Deep Peeling

Deep peeling could require as long as 21 days to heal. The following tips can help make the healing process more effective:

  • Soak the skin four to six times every day
  • Apply the ointment after soaking for 14 days
  • Apply a thick moisturizer for the next 14 days
  • Take antiviral medication (after consulting your doctor) for 10 to 14 days
  • Apply mild cream or lotion
  • Avoid exposure to the sun for up to six months
  • Do not apply to make up for the first 14 days
  • Have a follow-up appointment scheduled to monitor your progress
  • Avoid smoking

How Much Does Chemical Peeling Cost?

Since chemical peeling comes under the category of cosmetic procedures, it will most likely go out of your pocket. Moreover, there is no fixed cost of the procedure as it depends on several factors, such as:

  • The type of peel used
  • Location
  • Provider’s expertise

Deep peels usually cost the highest, while light peels are at the lower end of the price range. However, it again depends on whether you require anesthesia or in-patient stays. As per the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a chemical peel costs about $644 on average.

 

There is no denying that chemical peels help make your skin appear smoother and younger. However, they are not without their drawbacks. Therefore, seek a professional’s guidance before setting up your final appointment. Be clear about your needs and take your professional’s advice into account for a smooth and trouble-free procedure.

For more information schedule appointment or contact us today.

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