If you’re a Boomer over 50, you don’t have to wear your years on your face. Nothing reveals your age more than ugly brown age spots – or liver spots – as they’re sometimes called. You may have thought that you had to live with these telltale signs of age but the good news is – you don’t! There are several ways you can get rid of them and here’s how.
5 Ways To Remove Dark Age Spots and Look Younger
Usually, people with fair to medium complexions start to get brown spots on their face when they reach middle age. Usually, they are just a buildup of dry skin and old skin cells. But they can also occur in any complexion with repeated sun exposure. In my practice as a dermatologist, I see aging brown spots every day and I ask my patients if they would like to get rid of them and look younger. Almost always, the answer is a resounding Yes! So, here are some of the best options I present to my patients of how to deal with aging and unattractive brown age spots. We’ll start with the most natural, slower methods and work up to the quicker, medical methods.
1. Fruit Source Bleaches. Lemon juice. Yep, plain ol’ lemon juice. It works like a mild bleach to gradually bleach out dark age spots. You can cut a lemon in quarters and rub the raw lemon over your brown spots. It takes longer to effect a noticeable lightening in the dark spots, but after a few weeks you should see lighter spots. If you want to use this method, I would recommend combining it with exfoliation as well (see below). Papaya is another natural food-source bleaching method of lightening brown age spots. Similar to using lemon juice, rubbing fresh papaya over your brown spots can help make them noticeably lighter in a few weeks. Also combine with exfoliation.
2. Exfoliation. This is actually abrading the surface layers of skin to remove the dried patches of skin that are the basis of brown spots. It can be done with a facial scrub that contains a grit-like ground almond or peach pits in a soap wash base. You apply the solution over your face in a scrubbing manner 3 times a week. Combine with lemon juice or papaya juice application. Use a good SPF-15 sunscreen moisturizer on your face afterwards before going out in the sun again.
3. Microdermabrasion. Like exfoliation only abrading deeper layers of skin. Microdermabrasion uses a diamond tip needle scraping stylet attached to a wand powered by electricity. An anesthetizing prepping solution is applied to the facial skin. The dermatologist, or their licensed esthetician, then uses the scraping stylet in circular motions all over your face. It takes about 30 minutes and creates an immediate improvement in the brightness and lightness of your skin with brown spots either completely removed or greatly diminished. It also reduces pore size, removes surface wrinkles and dry skin, acne scars, and stimulates new collagen/skin cell production, leaving a much younger appearance. Usually not covered by insurance.
4. Chemical peels. This is the application of a thick mask of exfoliating substance, either trichloroacetic acid, or glycolic acid. It can peel off layers of skin removing brown spots, freckles, wrinkles, acne, scars. It usually is done in 2-3 treatments. Keeping the skin clean to prevent infection and protecting the skin against sun exposure is necessary afterwards. Some down time may be necessary as it can leave the skin with heightened redness.
5. Laser removal. Laser treatments can remove brown spots and other skin imperfections on your face. Laser treatment involves using a small hand-held wand that emits a laser light. The dermatologist treats each brown spot with the laser light which breaks up the skin cells and dissolves them without breaking the skin. Unlike microdermabrasion, there is no downtime to this procedure and can be done even on a lunch break. It is not usually covered by insurance, however, as it is considered a cosmetic procedure.
*Over-The-Counter Lightening Creams. These creams are frequently sold in pharmacies. They often contain 2% hydroquinone, which can be helpful in lightening dark age spots, freckles, a condition called melasma and other forms of hyperpigmentation. However, I don’t recommend using these over-the-counter applications of hydroquinone. I feel that a dermatologist should be the one to use/monitor this solution on your age spots or dark skin areas. Dermatologists also often use a stronger version of it that needs FDA regulation.
There you have a few ways to get rid of dark, unattractive age spots that can really make you look (and feel!) older than you are. One thing that reveals your age is the condition of your skin – whether it looks clear with good color or sallow and discolored with age spots, large pores and wrinkles. Yet, before attempting any brown spot treatments on your own, consult your dermatologist first. Be sure that what you may think is just brown age spots is not something more serious. Your dermatologist may want to do a shave biopsy of any suspicious looking darker brown spots.
Jay Brachfeld, M.D.
Natural Health News
Get Rid of Brown Spots, http://natural-face-lift-without-surgery.blogspot.com/2013/05/get-rid-of-brown-spots-on-skin-4-best.html
How To Get Rid of Brown Spots on Face Naturally, http://natural-face-lift-without-surgery.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-remove-dark-spots-on-face.html