Age spots can be successfully removed with the technology available today, especially laser and light-based technologies. The most effective options are available through a doctor such as a dermatologist or dermasurgeon and most procedures are performed in an outpatient setting. Take a look at the available options as well as their pros and cons.
Age Spot Specific Chemical Peels
By definition, a chemical peel is the removal of skin layers by applying a caustic chemical, such as an acid, that produces a superficial burn. Fresh skin is regenerated to replace the old. There are various levels of intensity for chemical peels depending on the result desired.
Alphahydroxy acids offer the mildest treatment and may need to be applied over a period of time to achieve the greatest results. AHA peels are most often used to treat fine lines, dry skin, areas of minor discoloration, and acne. AHA peels could cause stinging, redness and crusting.
Trichloroacetic acid is a medium depth peel. A TCA peel will take longer to heal than an AHA peel, but the results are more dramatic and longer lasting. A TCA peel runs the same risk irritants as an AHA peel, but carries the low risk chance of skin discoloration.
Phenol is the deepest peel and the most effective against seriously sun damaged skin or even pre-cancerous growths. The phenol peel will result in the inability for the skin to tan so rigorous sun protection is absolutely necessary.
Positive Effects: A chemical peel can be beneficial in the treatment of age spots as well as scars and wrinkles. Even the lightest peel can result in fresher, healthier looking skin. Deeper peels can dramatically repair serious skin problems.
Negative Effects: The deeper the peel the more serious the possibility of side effects. Deeper peels also carry a longer healing time. Deeper peels carry the risk of lightening the skin. Though occurrence is low when performed by an experienced plastic surgeon, all chemical peels carry risk of infection or scarring.
Dermabrasion for Age Spot Removal
Dermabrasion utilizes a technique to abrade, or slough off, portions of the skin using a high speed rotating brush. Dermabrasion generally requires an anesthetic. Milder dermabrasion procedures may only require a mild topical, while more intense procedures may warrant general anesthesia.
Dermabrasion is effective for minimizing age spots as well as wrinkles and skin growths.
Positive Effects: Dermabrasion is an aggressive technique treating more serious skin flaws such as scars, wrinkling, and chronic sun damage.
Negative Effects: Side effects of dermabrasion include fever blisters, skin discoloration and thickening of the skin. Dermabrasion causes a wound on the skin and can take a week or even more to heal depending on the intensity of the procedure.
Laser Resurfacing for Problem Age Spots
In the past, lasers came straight from the frames of the science fiction movie reel and were generally used to pulverize an unsuspecting alien or two. Today, modern lasers are utilized in a variety of settings including medical facilities, and are commended for their precision, speed, and accuracy.
Modern lasers incorporate a variety of technologies but the general premise of its design is based on a beam of highly concentrated light that’s energy is so great it has the ability to make an incision. Lasers are being successfully employed to repair a variety of skin problems including wrinkles, smoothing skin, removing discoloration, improving scars, and enhancing the overall appearance of skin’s tone and texture.
Laser resurfacing is a bit more aggressive. With this technique, lasers and light-based devices stimulate collagen production by bypassing the top skin layers and tightening the underlying skin.
Positive Effects: The results of laser procedures are generally more dramatic than any other and unlike aggressive dermabrasion treatments are virtually bloodless.
Negative Effects: As with many of the face rejuvenation procedures the side effects include a possible loss of pigmentation, swelling and irritation, and a need to diligently protect yourself from the sun.
“Chemical Peels Information.” ASDS – American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 June 2010. http://www.asds.net/ChemicalPeelsInformation.aspx.
“Dermabrasion.” American Academy of Dermatology. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 June 2010. <http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/cosmetic_dermabrasion
“Laser Facial Resurfacing.” University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. University of Michigan, n.d. Web. 10 June 2010. www.kellogg.umich.edu/cosmetic/laser-resurfacing.html.
Quote: “Age spots can be removed, which can improve appearance, but this does nothing to correct the free-radical damage occurring inside the body. Age spots can be caused by poor diet, nutrient deficiencies, poor liver function, rancid oil ingestion, lack of exercise…”
Source: Calbom, Cherie. The Juice Lady’s Juicing for High-Level Wellness and Vibrant Good Looks.
New York: Three Rivers Press, 1999. Print