The procedure involves the carefully controlled application of an acid or other solution to the skin Age spots are little dark blotches that turn up like freckles - but when you reach a certain age, you find that, unlike freckles, these guys just won’t quietly fade away. You’ve heard there are treatments. Cosmetic Dermatologist James Fairfield takes a look at the benefits of chemical peel treatments, and the cautions.
First, because age spots can be a result of sun damage, Fairfield stresses that we should all protect our skin from the sun. “Use a UVA/UVB sunscreen marked at least SPF 30,” Fairfield advises, “every day!” But once the unsightly spots appear, it’s good to know that there are effective treatments to fade them.
Chemical treatments offer an advantage over surface procedures like dermabrasion: peels work at a deeper level in your skin. A few people have chemical-sensitive skin, so preliminary testing will make it clear if this treatment is right for you. Fairfield says, “Of course, you’ll want to talk with your own cosmetic dermatologist about the best treatment for your unique needs.”
Chemical peels are very effective at fading age spots, and they have the advantage of acting below the surface layer of the skin. This allows for a longer-term removal of the cells that create too much dark pigment, which is the cause of the age spot. One side benefit of all kinds of chemical peels: they erase fine wrinkles, giving a smoother, softer skin texture.
Fairfield explains how chemical peels work, and also outlines the differences between prescription formulations and natural, fruit-based preparations. “The procedure involves the carefully controlled application of an acid or other solution to the skin,” Fairfield says, “and there’s a range of chemical peel formulations, from heavy-duty to gentler.”
If they run in your family, these spots may be inevitable (just like aging!) It is reassuring to know that there are treatments like chemical peels that can lighten things up and give us younger-looking skin.
James C. Fairfield, MD has established the oldest and most respected dermatology practice in the Delaware Valley. For more free cosmetic dermatology information and resources, visit his web site at www.cmderm.com.