Let’s face it: the freckles that looked so cute sprinkled across your nose in your teens and 20s may, by your mid-to-late-30s, have lost most of their appeal.That’s because, over time, cumulative sun damage can cause freckles, brown spots and other marks to increase and darken, leaving skin looking blotchy and aged. It’s due to a process called hyperpigmentation – harmless in most cases but, cosmetically speaking, less than desirable. Luckily, there are many options for preventing and treating brown spots, age spots, liver spots and other marks safely and successfully. Most of us notice obvious signs of aging in the skin in our mid to late thirties, starting with brown spots, followed by wrinkles and changes in skin texture.
Hyperpigmentation is characterized by the darkening of an area of skin caused by the overproduction of melanin – a pigment produced by cells called melanocytes. Though some people may possess a high concentration of melanocytes due to hormonal changes or a pre-existing medical condition, a far more common cause of hyperpigmentation is sun exposure, which causes hyperactivity in these cells.
At Dr. Buonassisi’s laser and skin care practice in Vancouver, BC we specialize in surgical and non surgical treatments for dealing with the signs of aging. A consultation with one of our experienced anti-aging skin specialist will uncover which of the following types of hyperpigmentation you have, and what the best course of treatment will be:
> Sun spots, age spots and liver spots: No matter what you call them, these common-but-pesky marks generally appear as spots of hyperpigmentation on areas of the skin that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as the hands and face.
> Melasma: Thought to be caused by hormonal changes, this condition, which often develops during pregnancy, appears as areas of hyperpigmentation, dark skin or discolouration, on the face, abdomen or other parts of the body. Find out more about melasma.
> Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: These dark and discoloured spots can appear following injury or trauma to the skin – think acne that’s healed, rashes (such as psoriasis and eczema) that may darken the skin, or a poorly administered chemical peel or laser treatment. Even seemingly innocuous activities like leg waxing and electrolysis can cause melanin-producing melanocyte cells to overreact.
With sun damage, the number one cause of hyperpigmentation, you stand the best chance of slowing the accumulation of brown spots by protecting your skin from overexposure. Cover up with protective clothing, always use a sun screen or physical sun block such as Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup and, as much as you can, stay out of the sun for prolonged periods of time. Also wise: getting started on a medical-grade skin-care system, which includes products that a) introduce age-appropriate combinations of skin protection b) strengthen the skin’s barrier function and c) increase the body’s natural wound-healing response and produce collagen.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts to prevent hyperpigmentation from occurring, unwelcome spots may appear on our skin. Fortunately, there are ways to treat these marks so they look significantly less prominent – or seem to completely disappear.
When it comes to sun, liver and age spots, these are often best treated with a medical-grade skin-care regime, not to mention the newest-generation of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology, called BroadBand Light BBL™ Photo Facial.
Melasma, often referred to as “pregnancy mask,” is tricky to treat, because any exposure to sun will trigger a darkening of the affected area of skin. While IPL and BBL therapies will only exacerbate the problem, a chemical peel, customized to treat your unique condition, can be very helpful, as can medical-grade skin-care products that contain such effective lightening agents as hydroquinone or Vitamin C.
For cases of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, medical-grade skin-care products that contain lightening agents like hydroquinone may be effective, as can a chemical peel that’s been specially customized to suit your individual needs.
Again, a consultation with an experienced, professional anti-aging skin specialist will uncover just what type of hyperpigmentation you have, and what the best course of treatment will be. In the meantime, find out more about the various types of medical grade lasers we use to treat various skin conditions.
No other laser treatment has changed the face of aging like the BBL™ Forever Young has. This is a Broad Band Light (next generation IPL) treatment that, through research conducted at Stanford University, has been shown to reverse and stop the signs of aging. Find out more about BBL™ Forever Young and the ground breaking research. Once patients have corrected the signs of aging, they begin BBL™ Forever Young to maintain results and to experience changes in the genes that cause aging.
Experience matters and we’ve been helping patients achieve younger looking skin for over 20 years. We are a team of skin specialists working under the direction of Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Thomas Buonassisi. We specialize in designing signature, comprehensive Skin Fitness plans based on your unique needs. Your objectives, budget and tolerance for downtime are always taken into consideration. We specialize in the comprehensive set of medical treatments and can design plans that either include surgery, or are strictly non-surgical or combine the power of both.
If you’re ready to experience beautiful, youthful skin for yourself, contact us. Our team of experts will work closely with you to find the best treatment plan, keeping your budget and downtime needs in mind, to help you achieve radiant skin that shines and glows. We offer the complete spectrum of medical services, both surgical and non-surgical, to help you get the results you desire.
Contact us today and be one step closer to loving your skin.