Fall is here and the time to switch gears. This is the perfect season to check over your skin and do a little maintenance after your summer of fun!
It’s a great time to change up your routine and products to address the change in weather. It also means it’s the best time to address an important skincare treatment. Brown Spots, Liver Spots, Sun spots, Age Spots….there are a variety of names. They are officially known as Solar Lentigines.
Solar Lentigines are caused by sun exposure. They are an attempt by your skin to protect itself from more sun damage. UV rays accelerate the production of brown pigment, which creates a tan that helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays. It’s a safety mechanism.
They can occur anywhere and everywhere that you have exposed your unprotected skin to the sun. Your face, your hands, your décolleté, causing premature aging and crepey skin.
It is important to know that these spots are always flat and without any raised edges. Anything else should be examined by a medical professional. Solar Lentigines are 100% treatable and avoidable. You can mitigate future potential melanoma by treating dark spots as they occur, bringing them to surface (to be exfoliated away) before they become dangerous.
Of course the number one way to avoid these brown spots, stay out of the sun. The 2nd best way, use a barrier or mineral type sunscreen (like Zinc) to block the harmful rays.
So why is fall the best time to address Solar Lentigines? If you are considering any type of laser, or light treatment, this can only be done on skin that has not been recently exposed to the sun. Additionally, most topicals designed to address brown spots are also photosensitive. Meaning you need to limit sun exposure to use these effectively and safely. In fact, fall is the best time for any laser treatments, including permanent hair removal. Laser Technicians cannot (should not!) perform these treatments on sun exposed skin that has been recently tanned. That also includes photofacials to treat brown spots.
You can usually safely begin treatment 4 weeks after your last sun exposure, and must of course stay out of the sun for at least 4 weeks after. So winter, with less sun time, is the best time.
Lightening/brightening topicals – that contain the ingredient hydroquinone. Examine the potential risks before considering a skin brightener. These products are known to contain, and can additionally contain corticosteroids and mercury. These ingredients can cause dermatitis, irritation, thinning of the skin, redness and pain.
Photofacial Treatments – The equipment is so varied, there are many many choices. The most effective photofacial treatment that I have ever received, or given is with the Kona LHE machine. The photo below demonstrates the treatment with this machine, and is the result from one treatment. The treatment causes the brown spots to come up to the surface, and to darken significantly. Over the next 48 hours they begin to have the appearance of ‘coffee grounds’. In the following 10 days to 2 weeks, the spots slough off and disappear. More than one treatment may be necessary to bring everything to surface.
Photofacials can be performed on any area of the body. The most common areas are the face, hands, neck and décolleté. Besides addressing the menacing brown spots, a treatment can address fine line and wrinkles, induce collagen production, address tone and texture. Smoothing the skin for a better overall appearance. This can also be a highly effective treatment for Rosacea and redness.
Body Polish, Scrubs and Hand Creams, Serums and Body Lotions – Seeking out products that contain ingredients glycolic acid, Vitamin C, Lemon Peel Oil and Bergamot. These are known as “Phytochemicals”. Phyto = Plant based. These are your safest and most effective means of protecting your skin and addressing tone, texture and coloration.
Here’s why. A body polish (scrub) with Glycolic acid can address texture and smooth skin tone. Topical lotions with Vitamin C and lemon peel and Bergamot are known to help with skin brightening and lighting. A hand lotion with these ingredients could also address premature aging of the hands. As could a body serum and body lotion.
These of course are never ‘over night’ miracles. They occur with time and regular use, like all permanent changes. These healthy and safe products can also be used in conjunction with a Photofacial treatment as after care and to accelerate results.
Need more information? Please feel free to message me with your questions!
**This is for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Seek professional medical advice for diagnosis and treatment.
Hands – One LHE treatment. Aftercare products….
Exfoliate & Refine Body Polish
Hydrate & Repair Body Serum
Silky & Soothing Hand Cream.
Truck Driver – Skin exposed to the sun on the driver’s side shows extensive sun damage.