Brown spots. Age spots. Angel Kisses. Sun spots. Hyperpigmentation. Whatever you call them, they are visible signs of sun damage to your skin. Have you ever seen a baby with these spots?
Melanocytes rest in the epidermis of our skin. They are the cells that produce melanin, which contributes to your skin color and gives your skin the tanned appearance. When your melanocytes are damaged by the sun, they don’t function properly which results in brown spots. A tan is a sign of injury to your skin.
The good news is there are several treatment options to get rid of the brown spots and regain a healthy, even, radiant complexion. One option is medical skin care using a combination of hydroquinone, retinol and antioxidants. These prescription products used in conjunction can dramatically reduce or eliminate hyperpigmentation. To speed up the lightening process, laser treatments and chemical peels can also be utilized. The key to the success of all of these treatments is diligent use of sunscreen daily. The minute the sun’s rays shine on your damaged skin those melanocytes wake up and start producing pigmentation all over again. When you have worked so hard to undo the damage to your skin, the last thing you want to do is start the process over again.
Fall is a great time to clean up the summer sun damage to your skin. Be nice to your skin and it will thank you with fewer wrinkles, fine lines, brown spots and hopefully no skin cancer. Talk to your medical skin care professional about the best treatment options for you.
Jennifer Griffith is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. She is a member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Coalition of Advance Practice Nurses of Indiana. Jennifer is a Clinical Instructor nationally to physicians and nurses on medical cosmetic procedures.
Do you have a question for Jennifer, about this article or another cosmetic skin care issue? Please call Vein Institute & Medical Spa at 574-267-1900 to have your questions answered and considered for future columns. Questions can also be submitted online at http://www.veinmedicalspa.com.