There’s no way around it. Sun exposure and aging cause brown spots to develop on our skin. The most common areas are those that get repetitive sun exposure such as the face, hands, arms and shoulders. Over time, these spots change from cute youthful freckles into unsightly discolorations.
Using daily sunscreen and limiting your time in the sun can prevent future brown spots from developing. If you already have lots of skin discoloration, consider one of these cosmetic treatment options to rejuvenate your skin.
Microdermabrasion is a non-chemical skin exfoliation that uses a diamond-tip wand to gently exfoliate the skin. Light suction is used simultaneously to remove the dead skin cells. Microdermabrasion is usually administered in a series of 3-5 treatments done one month apart.
2. Chemical Peels
Chemical peels are a safe and effective treatment for brown spots and other pigmentation problems. They use fruit based acids to gently remove the outer layer of skin. Chemical peels stimulate new cell growth while naturally sloughing off dead cells. They can improve the skin’s tone and texture, improve acne and lighten brown spots, freckles, and melasma. Chemical peels are usually administered in a series of 3-5 treatments.
3. Intense Pulse Light (IPL)
Sometimes call photofacials, IPL uses a light-based device to target unwanted red and brown discoloration in the skin. It can be used for sun damage, brown spots, hyperpigmentation, facial flushing and rosacea. Because it has been shown to stimulate collagen, it is also used to rejuvenate the skin. Three to five treatments are typically recommended at intervals of one month apart. It is important to stay out of the sun in between treatments.
4. Topical Products
There are several effective skin bleaching agents available over-the-counter or by prescription. The most widely used bleaching cream is hydroquinone, but other common products include kojic, azelaic, and lactic acids. Some products are even safe in pregnancy and lactation. Consult with your skin care provider to determin the right topical product for you.
To be safe, it’s best to have a complete head to toe skin check annually by a dermatologist. Between visits look for any spots that are rapidly growing, darkly pigmented, developing irregular borders, or cause itching, redness, tenderness or bleeding. These can be signs of skin cancer.
Cosmetically speaking, don’t waste time and money using make-up to cover skin discoloration. Speak with your skin care provider about the best treatment options for your specific concern, skin type and available down time.