A smattering of freckles across your face looks really cute when you’re a young teen. As you get older, and those freckles get bigger, turning into something more accurately called age spots, they are a lot less attractive. Like freckles, age spots are a type of hyperpigmentation that develops after sun exposure. They can pop up anywhere on the body, but age spots usually make you feel the most self-conscious when they form on the face and hands. Luckily, if you’re looking in the mirror and noticing that your skin tone is less even than you’d like, you have a few options for minimizing unwanted age spots.
Microdermabrasion is the less invasive sister of dermabrasion. It’s a treatment that gently exfoliates the skin on your face, reducing the appearance of age spots, as well as the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also improve the texture of your skin, and minimize the appearance of large pores. You can purchase microdermabrasion kits at the drugstore or at a cosmetics counter. But, you’ll get a much more in-depth treatment if you see a facial plastic surgeon for treatment.
During the microdermabrasion treatment, your surgeon will use a special tool to gently remove the top layer of dead skin cells. Although you might feel a buzzing sensation during the procedure, most people find that microdermabrasion isn’t uncomfortable at all. Usually, it takes about half an hour to treat the entire face. A series of treatments, spaced a week or more apart, is normally needed to acheive the most dramatic results.
Microdermabrasion isn’t only a quick procedure. It requires almost no downtime. Most people are able to return to work the day after treatment.
A chemical peel is somewhat similar to microdermabrasion. They have a similar goal, to exfoliate the skin, removing age spots and lines and improving uneven texture. However, the way they are performed is different. During a peel, a surgeon will apply an acidic substance to the skin. Chemical peels vary in their strength and intensity. Some contain very acidic ingredients, which provide a much deeper treatment. Others, known as mild or light peels, are very gentle, and will usually only treat surface concerns.
The peel that is right for you will depend on what you want to get out of the procedure, how severe the signs of aging are, and how much time you have for recovery. After a mild peel, you can usually be back to your regular activities the next day. Your skin will need time to fully recover and heal after a very deep peel, meaning you might need to take up to a week off from school or work.
Sometimes known as a photofacial, IPL, or intense pulsed light, is a type of laser treatment designed to remove age spots by damaging the pigmentation that causes them. During an IPL treatment, the surgeon uses a device that directs an intense laser beam beneath the skin. The laser doesn’t damage the skin itself, but instead targets the pigments below. The IPL treatment usually takes no more than 30 minutes in the office. Since there is no actual damage to the skin, recovery after an IPL treatment is very short.
Preventing Future Spots
Removing existing spots is only the first step, when it comes to improving the look of your skin. You also want to minimize the chance of developing more age spots in the future or having the spots you removed return. The best thing you can do to do to keep away unwanted age spots is to use sunscreen.
Wear a sunscreen, with an SPF of at least 30, every day. Apply it about 15 minutes before you first go outdoors. It’s also important to reapply it throughout the day, as the sunscreen will wear off. Along with sunscreen, it’s a good idea to cover up your skin. A pair of sunglasses with UV protection will shield the area around your eyes, while a hat with a big brim will provide additional coverage for your face.
If you’re not happy with the appearance of age spots on your face or your hands, contact Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique for help. Dr. Paul Vitenas and his team of aetheticians offers a number of treatments that can effectively minimize or remove the spots , including chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser treatments. Schedule you consultation today by calling the Houston area office at 281.810.9083.