Most of us start life with even skin color and tone, however, as we are exposed to environmental pollutants and the sun, our skin begins to change.Suddenly, we take on the “aged” appearance. If your skin discoloration is brown in color (commonly called hyperpigmentation) , your skin is signaling that damage has been done. Causes include sun, acne, burns, trauma, hormonal changes or social behaviors.
Freckles are brown spots caused by an increase in sun exposure, while age spots are the result of extensive sun damage. Freckles and age spots are usually on the surface of the skin – found on the hands, arms, back, chest, décolleté and face. These brown spots are a buildup of pigment caused by years of sun exposure. They range in color from light to dark brown and can be flat or raised. How deep within the skin the damage goes depends on the color, size and age of your discoloration.
Treatment options for sun damage and age spots
• Bleaching agents – Skin lighteners
• Microdermabrasion and Lite Chemical Peels
• BBL/Broadband Light (phototherapy)
Bleaching agents or skin lightening creams or gels containing hydroquinone, kojic acid, azaelic acid or Tri-Luma can help even out your skin tone. They work by decreasing the ability of cells to produce pigment know as melanin. It may take 4 weeks to many months of daily use to see results. Price range: $40 – $150
Microdermabrasion combined with a Lite Chemical Peel during the same treatment, is an option for light sunspots and discoloration from acne. Microdermabrasion performs exfoliation and opens the pore, allowing a deeper penetration of an acid peel. These treatments refresh by removing discolored skin cells. They work wonders on acne-prone skin – pores are unplugged and blemishes shrink. After treatment, it is normal for skin to be dry and peel for a few days, then expose new evenly pigmented skin.
A series of 4 to 10 treatments is recommended, scheduled approximately every 2 to 6 weeks for dramatic results. You may see a difference in your skin tone after the second or third treatment. Price range: $150 – $600
BBL-Broadband Light Laser (phototherapy)
is the most innovative technology for the treatment of skin conditions associated with sun damage and discoloration. BBL utilizes the power of pulsed light to gently heat the upper layers of your skin. The heat will stimulate your skin cells to generate new cell growth. This will help restore your skin by eliminating many of the unwanted hyperpigmentated areas.
BBL treatments are ideal for correcting sun damage on the face, neck, chest, shoulders and backs of hands, with minimal discomfort. After the procedure, the pigmented areas may be darker than they were before. Over the next several days, these areas will begin to fade and flake off, leaving the skin smoother, brighter and healthier. This is a noninvasive and gentle procedure. In most cases you will be able to return to your normal activities the same day.
It may take 2 to 5 treatments spaced 2 to 4 weeks apart to eliminate discoloration. We have had very positive feedback from our patients after BBL treatments at Enza Medispa. Price range: $75 – $450 per treatment, depending on the size of the area being treated. Discount options are offered for additional treatments.