October 19th, 2011 by Lynda Proulx, Dermo-esthéticienne/Phytothérapeute
Summer is behind us and although it may not have been the sunniest of summers, some age spots may have appeared on your skin.
An age spot is a common term used to describe various skin blemishes or pigment related anomalies. Despite being mainly benign, they are nonetheless disgraceful and unsightly.
We differentiate between 3 types of pigmentary distribution:
- Epidermal (majority)
- Dermal (in the deeper layers of the skin)
Hyperpigmentation problems are due to pigment anarchy. The melanocytes (melanin producing cells) on certain areas of our skin become super workers and produce too many pigments thereby provoking “excessive tanning” and the appearance of brown spots.
Causes and aggravating factors
• Hormonal changes: pregnancy, menopause, contraceptives, hormone therapy
• Photo aging
• Genetic predisposition
• Poor oxygenation
• Great stress
• Inadequate home therapies
• Application of certain irritating topical agents
• Medications which cause photosensitivity
Treatments in general
Treatment of age spots is centered on two major axes.
1. Protection. One thing remains unchanging, any exposure to the sun will accentuate skin coloring and therefore aggravate hyperpigmentation. You must train your skin to sun exposure and always use sunscreen without compromise on quality.
2. Lightening treatments. The first step is to consult a specialist, either a beautician or a dermatologist. This professional will evaluate whether the pigmentary distribution is dermal (deep). If this is the case, there are no effective treatments available. In any case it is essential to determine the causal factors to either eliminate or at the very least control the problem.
A large range of treatments are available, either as topical use or with equipment. Beware! Many of these methods have side effects: irritation, increased sensitivity, dehydration, premature aging. Chose less invasive methods that respect the sensitivity of your skin, you will thereby reduce the risks of side effects.
Topical treatments: Technologies in skin care treatments are quite advanced and there exists an interesting choice of active principles that work together on different aspects. Give priority to products exempt of chemical ingredients. These types of natural cosmetic are not harmful to the skin and are often less expensive and just as effective. Avoid products with ingredients like: sodium-laureth-sulfate or sodium-lauryl-sulfate SLS EDTA: (ethylenediaminetetraacetic): dimethicone, PEG, etc.
Technological treatments: Treatments using equipment such as microdermabrasion and luminotherapy are effective allies if they are used adequately because they offer possible results which are both probing and rapid. The intensity and the size of the age spot will decrease.
Certain internal disorders increase oxidation and intoxication which may maintain instances of hyperpigmentation. In this case, TOTAL DETOX, PURE DETOX 7 DAYS, Pure CHLORO and MILK-THISTLE can provide some precious help.