How many of us think that age spots are completely related to age? I too, accepted age spots as part of the ‘growing older’ skin genesis. Little did I know that these little brown spots were a lot more than just a side effect of aging.
The why and what of age spots
Age spots are also known as liver spots, solar lentigines and senile lentigines. A vast majority of people get affected by these little brown spots in their lives. It’s true that these spots are seen in most people above the age of 40 but that is primarily due to the process of skin regeneration slowing down. Age spots occur mostly due to sun damage and the genetic disposition of your skin. If you have inherited delicate and sensitive skin then you could be more susceptible to age spots.
Prevention is the key
As the adage goes, prevention is always better than cure. Being aware, looking for ways to prevent age spots and starting early to do so is going to save you a lot many trips to the dermatologist.
Overexposure to the sun is one of the main reasons that cause age spots. The harmful rays of the sun leave the skin more prone to erratic pigmentation. While shielding yourself completely from the sun is impossible you need to avoid over exposure with these simple tips:
- Stay indoors from 12 noon to 4 pm when the sun’s rays are at its harshest
- Wear a high SPF broad spectrum sunscreen
- Wear protective clothing in breathable material to keep the sun from hitting your skin directly
Removal and treatment of age spots
One of the most common ways to reduce the appearance of age spots is with the use of creams that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids. The AHA’s come from dairy and fruits and are topical applications. These acids work on the upper layer of the epidermis causing its cellular binding to break down revealing fresher, spot free skin.
Retinol, a substance derived from Vitamin A is another substance that is commonly used to treat age spots. It accelerates the exfoliating process of the skin by drying and sloughing off the old skin and brings out fresher new skin that is free of age spots.
Chemical Peels have taken the beauty market by storm these days. There are several types of chemical peels that cater to different levels of skin damage. Though there are over the counter peels available, it is best to go to a trained hand of a certified dermatologist to get the best result.
There are some advanced cosmetic treatments that can also be looked at for tackling age spots. Laser resurfacing is one such treatment that has become quite popular, has a longer lasting effect than a chemical peel but is heavier on the pocket.
CO2 resurfacing can remove deep age spots quite effectively but has a longer down time. Similarly Liquid Nitrogen therapy is considered one of the quickest ways to freeze the age spots away.
The thing to bear in mind when going for advanced treatments for age spots is to know that at times multiple treatments may be required to get the desired result. The result of the therapies also depends on your skin type and ethnicity. Also, take good care of your skin post the age spot freeze else they make their way back.
Have you done any advanced cosmetic treatments to get rid of age spots? Write in.