Sometimes our skin develops small spots on our face, hands, or other areas of the body. These might be dark freckles, moles, age spots, or a type of hyperpigmentation. In any case, they are usually caused by exposure to the sun or another kind of damage to the skin that leaves a long-term concentration of darkened skin tissue. There are various options to diminish these spots, and the appropriate one for you will be based on your individual case.
Pigmentation happens when melanin is formed in the skin, most frequently occurring as a chemical reaction to UV rays. Cells are damaged by sunlight and oxidized, which leads to the development of melanin, the darker pigment. This is one of the body’s reactions to sun damage, and it usually results in tans and fades away as cells turn over. Sometimes, the tissue is more severely damaged and permanent spots of clustered, pigmented cells remain. These tend to show up later in life after we have accumulated years of exposure to the sun, but in the case of freckles and moles, these might show up at younger ages as well. Hyperpigmentation can develop following sun damage, as well as some hormonal changes or particularly stubborn acne scars, when patches of skin darken.
Before your treatment is performed, your dermatologist will inspect the dark spots on your skin to be sure they aren’t signs of a more severe problem. New spots that look like moles or discoloration may be early stages of skin cancer, and your pre-treatment consultation will identify any suspicious spots.
Dermatologists can help diminish pigmented spots after an examination. Sometimes an over-the-counter lightening product or a retinoid will be enough to fade newer, shallow marks. Usually, these will contain a gentle acid that will help dissolve and break apart the melanin concentrations. Deeper, older, more stubborn spots can be worked on by your dermatologist with a choice of professional treatments.
A chemical peel can be adjusted to be deeper or more gentle based on your needs. By removing the outer layers of skin, the epidermis promotes new growth that can reduce the appearance of the spots. Microdermabrasion is another option that your dermatologist can use to target darkened spots on the skin. An abrasive tool is used to buff and polish the skin, removing buildup and stimulating new growth that can repair the discolored skin.
Laser therapy is an effective choice for reducing dark spots on the skin, from freckles to moles. A wavelength of light is focused on the pigmented area that is only absorbed by the darker cells. The light breaks the bonds of the pigmented cells. It may take a few rounds, but professional treatments for spot removal will help even out your skin tone and let you feel better about your appearance.
Set up an appointment today with one of our skincare specialists to find out how we can help you achieve a more even skin tone!