Age Brown Spots
Causes, Treatments and Removal

Age Brown Spots are sometimes harder to cope with than wrinkles and fine lines.

As we begin to age, different discolorations begin to surface on our skin and since they are almost impossible to cover up we tend to get a little more anxious about them.

These are flat brown spots most commonly associated with exposure to the sun.

Age spots, sun spots, liver spots, lentigos, lentigines are one and the same.  

These forms of discoloration are attributed to the melanin cells in our skin. I would like to extend a word of caution with regard to these spots. If any of them become very irregular in shape or change color it is wise to consult a physician. Sometimes there is a fine line between more serious cancerous lesions and age spots.

Food for thought... did you know... every time you tan, you are damaging your skin? What does tanned skin do? It peels. Why does it peel? Because it is dead and no longer has any value.

There Are Brown Spots... and Then There Are Brown Spots!

  • Freckles are small brownish spots on the face that are a result of a build up of melanin.
  • Hyper-pigmentation is the termed used for brown patches caused by an increase in melanin in the skin.
  • Hypo-pigmentation is just the opposite. It is a loss of pigment in the skin
  • Sun damage results in redness to the skin caused by the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
  • Age or liver spots are brown spots or patches as a result of sun exposure and usually are not noticeable until we get older, thereby called "age spots." You should be aware that brown spots especially those with an irregular outline or multi colored could be something more serious.
  • Melasma is associated with larger brown areas or age brown spots, many times triggered by menopause, birth control pills, hormone therapy or pregnancy. It has been referred to as "the pregnancy mask."

Treatment and Prevention of Age Brown Spots

  • Avoiding exposure to the sun or tanning beds is the easiest way to prevent age brown spots.
  • Sunscreens with zinc oxide are an effective way to protect your skin from pigment problems. I would also highly recommend using a pure topical Vitamin C product.

  • Chemical peels are used to treat pigment problems by using a chemical solution on the pigmented area to remove a surface layer of skin. As the peel does its work new skin becomes exposed.
  • Laser is the abbreviation for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Laser treatments are used to  vaporize skin tissue. A beam of light focuses on the area to be treated and removes the age spots. Laser is used for what is more commonly known as skin rejuvenation.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids are used an exfoliation treatment for he skin. When used on a daily basis, over time it can lighten brown spots.
  • Retinoids and Retin A are used extensively for solving a host of issues. A Retin A product is typically prescribed by a physician whereas a Retinol is an over the counter product with Vitamin A. It is not typical for a physician to give a prescription for age  spots. It is more likely you will use a retinol to help with the fading of the age spots.
  • Light Therapy/Photo Facial is a rather new procedure with the ability to diminish age spots, by emitting high intensity light pulses into the skin. It is a very effective and non invasive treatment with no down time and great results.
  • Hydroquinone is a skin bleaching cream used to lighten dark areas on the skin. It does make the skin more sensitive to sun  exposure. It is recommended to wear a sunscreen with zinc oxide when using this bleaching cream.
  • Micro-dermabrasion is a mechanical polishing of the skins surface layer. It is not recommended for extremely sensitive or very aged thin skin. The polishing of the skin is removing dead skin from the surface and exposing newer skin. A sunscreen during the day has to be part of this procedure to protect the newly exposed skin.
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