Sunday, January 16, 2011
Phase to face
There may come a time when you look in the mirror and wonder, "Where did those little brown spots come from?" Don't be alarmed when you are driving down the road and notice several new spots on the back of your hand or forearms.(Especially the left arm due to driving with this arm closest to the window). This phase in your life, typically begins by the age of 30, where both women and men alike will experience their first "age spot". What is an age spot a.k.a. liver spot? They appear as light brown spots, hyperpigmentation, or patches, usually found atop the cheeks, nose ,forehead, chest, as well as the back of the hands. These unsightly blemishes are results of over exposure to UV rays from the sun, also known as "photo damage". Some may experience the opposite reaction to sun damage known as, hypopigmentation where the skin loses it's pigment in result causing the loss of melanin and the skin appears white. There are ways to prevent future age spotting and thankfully for the miracles of modern science and technology we have many options to the removal of age spots. There are several grades of treatment offered to the public all depending on ones determination on the removal of their hyperpigmentation. The most mild, easy to use, accessible to most anyone as well as affordable, is a pigment lightening cream or gel. Most commonly used in these over the counter products is hydroquinone. This effective ingredient when used properly can dramatically lighten and brighten skin within one month of daily use.( PCA Pigment Gel). For those who are concerned of the controversies surrounding this ingredient or may be allergic, PCA has come out with HQ Free Pigment Gel that is a wonderfully nonabrasive topical product that by the unique formulation of kojic and azelaic acids, plus citric and lactic acids can lighten various types of hyperpigmentation and is ideal for sensitive skin. If one is looking for a more active approach to the removal of age spots and just evening out skin tone they may find what they want in microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is a non-surgical, non- invasive mechanical exfoliation by the use of either crystals, diamond or a bristle tipped brush along with the adjustable vacuum pressure, removes the outermost layer of the skin. With only a few visits(4 to 6 is recommended) one will experience softer, smoother, and more even toned skin for face, neck, chest, and hands. Then there is chemical peeling. As intimidating as this may sound there are some amazingly natural and effective treatments available that offer almost immediate satisfaction. There are alpha hydroxy(AHA) peels, TCA trichloroacetic acid, retinol, salicylic, Jessner peels, and then there's phenol the strongest and severe of peels. Through the professional guidance of your dermatologist along with finding an experienced/ licensed esthetician you can be well directed in choosing the appropriate treatment. Depending on the strength of the peel an the severity of the age spots one will see positive results by their second or third treatment.(4-6 visits or until desired result, is recommended). Expect peeling within two days that will last for another day or two. Avoid picking away the skin, your dermatologist or esthetician can provide you with protective and soothing after care while the "new skin" comes forth. Using an AHA face wash(PCA Facial Wash) along with a hydrating serum and protective moisturizer (PCA Protecting Hydrator SPF 30), especially with SPF during the day, you can minimize the dry, flaky after effects. Lastly there is the option of laser resurfacing. Performed only by dermatologists, there are several variations and levels of severity in terms of "down time" by the effects of these treatments. There are several versions performed by skin professionals such as Fraxel(R)/ photothermolysis skin resurfacing, photorejuvenation by the use of intense pulse light. These treatments can be costly and as long as you've done your research and find a reputable dermatologist, expect positive results.
Just as unique and distinctive each person is from another, so are the needs for caring for the body and skin. No matter what phase one must face, with the right guidance there are many positive and effective choices on the improvement and care for present as well as future health of the skin.