BFFs!!! It is summer! The sun is out and shining bright, I LOVE to be outside!!! I ALWAYS make sure to have a hat covering my face, as well as sunscreen on my face at all times!!! I have “sun spots” from the past that I am still dealing with on my face! Over exposure to sun can cause hyper pigmentation… meaning that your skin changes colors.
Sun spots often do not cause serious problems, they just reduce aesthetic appearance of the skin. Sun spots are usually dark spots that are flat and oval shaped, some may be irregular. They usually appear on exposed areas of the body such as the hands, shoulders, face, upper back and the tops of the feet. (healthzene.com)
BFFs! If you are taking birth control or if you are pregnant, REALLY take care to wear sunscreen on your face AT ALL TIMES!! Melasma or mask of pregnancy is an abnormal brown patch of skin on the cheeks, nose, or forehead caused by the sun. You can also get the tan mustache… which is the shadow that is formed above your upper lip. When hormones and the sun combine WATCH OUT!!!! Usually these will fade after you have the baby or if your hormones become more balanced.. that being said they may not fade, so prevention is key! Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!! It really is easy!
If you are in the sun a great deal over the summer, and if you aren’t super careful I would pause the use of retinol and peels until the summer months are over… these can cause your skin to be extra sensitive to the sun and can cause age spots and wrinkles if you expose your skin to the sun after using these products.
Treatments: Now that the summer is slowly starting come to an end you may want to start thinking of treating your sun spots in the fall/winter months.
Dermabrasion. This procedure consists of sanding down (planing) the surface layer of your skin with a rapidly rotating brush which breaks down melanin deposits located in the skin’s dermis layer. This procedure removes the skin surface, and a new layer of skin grows in its place. Temporary redness and scab formation can result from this treatment.
* Avoid getting sun for at least a week after microdermabrasion!!! Make sure you wear sunscreen and keep your face covered while your skin is healing.
Chemical peel. A chemical peel involves applying an acid, which burns the outer layer of your skin, to the age spots. As your skin peels, new skin forms to take its place. Several treatments may be necessary before you notice any results. Sun protection is strongly advised following this treatment. Temporary irritation is likely, and there’s a slight risk of discoloration. (mayoclinic.org) There are tons of spa’s and dermatologist offices that offer chemical peels or you can purchase some and do the peels in the comfort of your own home (they are much stronger at a dermatologist or medical spa)
I use a glycolic acid peel : Perfect Image. It comes in different levels… I would DEFINATELY start with level 1 which is a 30% or a level 2 which is 50% I also LOVE Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta Peel for a daily peel.. I use the glycolic acid peel once a week/2 weeks.
Retinoids work by prompting surface skin cells to turn over and die rapidly, making way for new cell growth underneath. For brown spots that give the skin an uneven tone, retinoids slough them off and curb the production of melanin, a darker pigment. (WebMD) BFFs… there are several different creams, and retinol gels. There are tons of different strengths of retinol creams as well. I suggest started at a low % and working your way up to the really strong retinol. There is also prescription retinol as well.
HQ (hydroquinone) Creams: they tend to be more effective for treating melasma or hormonally induced irregular pigmentations than for treating true age spots.
Hydroquinone has been considered one of the most effective skin-lightening treatments for hyperpigmentation. No doubts, very often it becomes first line of treatment for patients with sun damaged skin, age spots or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Nevertheless some researchers claim that it alters the melanin-protein complex, causing uneven skin tone.
Unlike the white light from a bulb that is a blend of all the colors of the rainbow, a laser is a focused beam of light that has just one color. When its intense rays target a problem area on the skin (a brown spot, a scar, an unwanted hair follicle), the laser’s light can destroy that pigment or tissue while sparing the skin around it.(allure.com)
So how do I know if a doctor is using the right laser for me? Ask a lot of questions: What is your training? How many patients have you treated with my particular problem? What are the risks and complications? Can I see pictures—and are these yours, or are they from the laser manufacturer? “If you have broken blood vessels, you want a doctor who has done scores of those procedures,” says Dover. It’s not just a matter of how many lasers you own, he says—it’s a question of experience and skill with those lasers. “It boils down to trust.”(allure)
Do I need to stay out of the sun if I’m getting a laser? It’s not a good idea to be treated if you’re tan, even if it’s a spray tan, says Eric Bernstein, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania. “The laser’s function is to destroy targets like freckles and brown spots, blood vessels, and tattoo pigment. But if the whole body is tan or dark, the laser mistakes it for the enemy—one big brown spot.” If used improperly, the treatment can cause irritation, blisters, and discoloration. Still, certain lasers can be adjusted for patients with dark skin.(allure)