Sunday, April 25, 2010

How to Treat Brown Spots


While it isn't necessary to treat brown spots, many people want them lightened or removed to preserve their youthful appearance. More commonly referred to as either age spots or liver spots, they tend to develop on any area of the skin most often exposed to the sun, according to the National Institutes of Health. This is why you typically see these spots develop on the face, arms, shoulders and hands. As the UV rays penetrate the skin, your body begins to produce additional melanin, prompting your skin to tan. But some of this melanin begins to stick together, eventually creating the brown spots that come with age. There are a number of products and procedures available to reduce the signs of these age spots.

Step 1

Apply an over-the-counter fade cream to the affected areas of the skin. You can find this type of product anywhere cosmetics are sold. However, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you stick with those products containing glycolic acid, kojic acid, deoxyarbutin or hydroquinone. For best results, apply directly onto any area of the skin with brown spots each day.

Step 2

Consider getting a prescription for tretinoin. This topical acne cream has been useful in reducing the signs of age spots. And much like an OTC fade cream, it should be used daily for best results. Sometimes, tretinoin is coupled with a steroid cream as well as a bleaching cream, like hydroquinone.

Step 3

Talk to your doctor about cryotherapy. The National Institutes of Health maintain that freezing age spots with liquid nitrogen is another potential treatment method for improving the appearance of the skin. When the liquid nitrogen is applied to the age spot, it actually destroys the extra melanin, causing the area to appear lighter than before.

Step 4

Try microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is a procedure that essentially removes the top layer of your skin affected by brown spots with a rotating brush, according to the Mayo Clinic. Once the layer is removed, new skin grows in its place, reducing the signs of the brown spots.

Step 5

Talk to your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon about laser therapy. With this method of liver spot removal, pulses of energy destroy the clumped melanin, causing the area to appear lighter than before. But unlike cryotherapy, you typically need a series of sessions to see any sort of visible improvement.

Step 6

Make an appointment for a chemical peel. This procedure is quite similar to microdermabrasion, except a chemical or acid is used to remove the top layer of your skin. And much like laser therapy, you'll most likely need a number of sessions for the best results, especially if your age spots are fairly dark.

1 comment:

Kate Hancock said...

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