Age Spot Treatments
As the name reveals, age spots appear with age. There are light to dark brown or black in color and can range in size and shape.
What causes age spots?
Melanin, the pigment that gives our skin colour ranges from yellow to brown to black. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes and found in the Stratum germinativum, the lowest level of the Epidermis.
Exposure to sunlight stimulates the production of melanin to form a shield to protect the DNA material from the damaging effects of UV rays. Despite the protective measures of melanin, with excessive sun exposure the skin becomes damaged.
Age Spots appear over the years when the natural defence mechanism of the skin breaks down and looses its ability to repair harmful radiation from the sun. The skin is producing too much of the pigment melanin which is causing the brown to black coloring on the skin.
Age Spots are also referred to as sun spots or liver spots. Their medical name is senile or solar lentigines. Age Spots are not harmful, however in rare cases skin cancer can be detected particularly in older age. Please see your dermatologist or doctor to have your spots and moles checked.
Age Spot treatments
There are several different age spot treatments and products available today that can either fade them or remove them completely.
Depending on the severity of your age spots, your skin professional will likely suggest one of the following age spot treatments:
With Cryosurgery, the spot is frozen with liquid nitrogen to get rid of it. The procedure is similar to removing warts. The skin dies, eventually peels off and with it the spot. Cryosurgery must be performed by a doctor. This treatment is usually performed on a single small spot as it is not ideal to use freeze larger areas of the skin. Cryosurgery is performed by a doctor, dermatologist or plastic surgon.
A beam of laser light is directed at the age spots to selectively eliminate the damaged skin. Again, laser is best for small selected spots. With laser treatment, the skin is burned off and has the same result as cryosurgery, although laser can penetrate deeper into the skin.
Laser treatment can be painful. As it works on the principle of controlled damage, the skin will need time to heal afterwards. Laser treatments are available at skin clinics or dermatologists and must be performed by a trained professional.
Photon light therapy
Photon Light Therapy is a totally natural way to remove pigmentation marks and age spots as well as rejuvenation of the skin.
It works on the priciple of the green wavelenght led light that is absorbed by the pigment melanin where it has the ability to prevent further formation of melanin as well as kick start the natural healing process of the skin.
Unlike laser treatments, anti aging red light therapy works by stimulating the bodies natural resonse to rejuvenate the skin rather than the repair of damaged tissue as with laser treatments. Photon Light Therapy is one of the best age spot treatments that is gentle on the skin an non-invasive. Professional grade red light therapy units are now available for home use.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid Peel
Alpha Hydroxy Acid solution is applied to peel away the blemished skin. Peels are ideal for irregular light to medium coloured pigmentation marks that cover a larger area like the face. A few treatments are necessary to achieve the desired result as the peels gradually lightens the pigmentation marks. This also depends on the concentration of the peel.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid Peels are done by skin clinics and dermatologists. Aha Peels with lighter acid concentrations are also available from your beautician.
The skin is sanded lightly with a special instrument to remove the spot. Dermabration is sanding the top layers of the skin away and with it the pigmentation spot. New fresh skin will grow. Dermabrasion treatments are available at skin clinics or as dermabrasion beauty tools for home use
A highly concentrated Retinoid cream (Vitamin A) is suscribed to fade the pigmentation. Retinoid has the ability to penetrate deep into the skin where it stimulates cell grow and repairing damaged tissue. Retinoid may cause sensitivity and peeling at first. The age spot will fade away gradually.
Age Spot Treatments are able to erase or fade your age spots. Treatments can be performed by your professional beauty therapist, dermatologist or skin doctor. They don’t cure or get rid of age spots permanently. Without continious care the pigmentation marks will re-appear.
It is crutial to apply a sun block at all times where the skin is exposed. This will help to avoid the UV rays stimulating the melanin production in the skin and cause further age spots. To control the occurence of age spots it is recommended to use a skin care product containing brightening ingredients.
Age Spot Products
There are several skin brigthener creams on the market today that you can use to remove age spots and control the occurence of pigentation marks all together. How effective age spot treatments with an over the counter product are depends on the severity of your age spots. Home care products are great if the discoloration is light to medium in color.
Age spot treatment gels are applied on the affected area under your normal moisturizer. until pigmentation is faded.
The problem with age spot treatment creams is, that the solution must be stong enough to be able to bleach the skin. These strong solutions can be too harsh for the skin and can cause permanent damage. Always use a Sunblock during treatment time to prevent worsening of the spots and the formation of new ones.
Skin Brightening Ingredients
Hydroquione is an active ingredient to lighten pigmentation that is used in many age spot products. It supresses the production of melanin.
Hydroquinone in chemistry is a type of phenol, an organic compound. Hydroquione as been used for skin bleaching for many years. A concentration of up to 4% hydroquione has been found to be a safe level for over the counter products and are effective for light to medium colored pigmentation spots. However products containig hydroquione can lead to dryness of the skin and therefore should be only used for small areas and until pigmentation is faded.
Kojic Acid works similar to hydroquione and is also used in many age spot treatments. Kojic acid is a by-product of the rice wine production. It inhibites the formation of melanin in the skin and has anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. Kojic Acid is often used as alternative if you are sensitive to Hyrdoquione.
Plant Skin Brighteners
Products using natural skin brightening ingredients are usually plant based and safe for the skin causing no damage. However, products with natural ingredients do work more gradually and it may take longer until you can see results. Natural brighteners work great as preventative or when pigmentation is light. Natural skin brighteners should be used continiously under your normal moisturiser and are most suitable for use on the face.
Many anti aging creams contain a brightening ingredient to prevent age spots. However, if you would like to tone pigmentation spots down you need to use a specific age spot treatment product due to stronger concentration of the brightening ingredient. Natural skin brighteners are Licorice extract, Bilberry extract and Vitamin C.
Probiotic Skin Brighteners
Probiotic bacteria ferment organic whole grains and legumes to release nutrients and create a naturally occuring lactic acid. This lactic liquid is extremely mild and known to restore and protect the skin’s acid mantle, lighten and brighten the complexion and improve photodamaged skin. Just like alpha hydroxy acids, but gentler, it has the ability to exfoliate dead skin cells for a smoother, less-wrinkled appearance and help break down impurities, whilst bringing moisture, clarity and vitality to the skin. Probiotic Skin Brightener is suitable for all skin types and are the perfect choice for congested skin and sensitive skin types.
Age Spot treatments and natural supplements
Age Spots have been related to selenium deficiency. Some natural health professionals are using selenium supplementation as age spot treatments.