During our lifetime, our skin is exposed to a variety of different environmental toxins. Exposure to sunlight is one such damaging influence on our skin. One such effect of sunlight in our skin is the development of age spots. Age spots tend to be harmless, but despite that, they need looking into and warrant treatment as they can look similar to skin cancers. They occur due to overproduction of melanin pigment in the skin that is responsible for the colour of the spots. Age spots are sometimes called liver spots or solar lentigines.
Once a detailed examination has been conducted, treatment options are usually discussed with the patient. One such treatment option is microdermabrasion.
Why undergo treatment for age spots?
The main problem with the development of age spots is its cosmetic appearance. It can be particularly distressing to a patient if many of them appear on the hands and their face.
Microdermabrasion for age spots
Microdermabrasion is a clinical procedure where the skin surface is gently sanded down using special equipment. The procedure is fairly straightforward and involves using a microdermabrasion device that gently rubs the skin removing the surface layer of cells.
Microdermabrasion is only effective in managing superficial skin problems. It removes between 10 to 15 µ depth of the skin. In other words, it is not effective in treating deep-seated scars and wrinkles, acne scars and even stretch marks. It therefore is a perfect treatment option for managing age spots.
Prior to performing the procedure, a discussion will be held with the patient regarding the benefits and risks of microdermabrasion. One main advantage of this procedure is that it does not require the administration of an anesthetic. Once consent has been obtained, tiny crystals are sprayed onto the skin. These crystals are then sanded down to remove the superficial layer of the skin. In simple terms, microdermabrasion is similar to gentle exfoliation of the skin.
The procedure extracts the melanin pigments that are present within the superficial layers of the skin. By doing so, they can help remove age spots and make the skin look clearer and healthier.
Risks and side effects
If you are going to undergo microdermabrasion, it may be worthwhile making note of any risks and side effects. Following the procedure, it is not uncommon for the skin to be slightly pink and feel tight and dehydrated. This lasts for only 24 hours and can be fairly easily treated using a good quality moisturizer. Serious side-effects are uncommon and the only one of note is the possibility of the crystals getting into one’s eyes. Eye protection is therefore recommended. In some patients, the age spots are a lot more deep-seated and microdermabrasion may not be of benefit.
Patients may require 3 to 4 treatments to obtain satisfactory results.
Microdermabrasion is a popular procedure in the cosmetic world. It has benefits in managing age spots by removing them and helping the skin look clear and healthy.