Brown Spots, Brown Spots, Go Away!
At 46 years old, I’ve been complaining to my doctor about brown splotches on my face and patches of freckles on my neck that look like smudges of dirt. I’m told that it’s due to hormone fluctuations – and the “smokin’ tan” I had in the summer of ‘87.
The fact is, as you age, your skin can develop dark brown or black pigmentations called solar lentigines – more commonly known as age spots. They can be a constant reminder that your skin has seen better days, but they don't have to be. New treatments can renew and improve your skin’s appearance by removing these hyperpigmentations. These treatments are highly effective at reducing or removing dark spots on the skin. And if you stay out of the sun and use sunblock, they probably won’t come back.
The first step in dealing with any suspicious spots, moles or discolorations, is to make an appointment with a dermatologist for a skin-cancer screening. The second step is to see a plastic surgeon for an evaluation.
Virtua plastic surgeon William Franckle, MD, FACS, explains, “Age spots can be treated with a special peel with TCA, or trichloracetic acid. A TCA peel bleaches the spots to fade them; with a few treatments, the spots often disappear. But for faster skin rejuvenation, many people prefer treatment with intense pulsed light (or IPL), which provides the same results in just one treatment.”
While most people focus on “anti-aging” their faces, another common area that shows age is the neck and décolletage (upper chest and cleavage). Treating those areas, specifically, requires an experienced plastic surgeon. Dr. Franckle warns, “You can’t be as aggressive with treatment of the neck and chest because the skin is more prone to scarring, so you have to be gentle and go a little more slowly.” Treatment costs range from $500-$1500.
While these treatments provide solutions to my “spots,” I’ve learned that there’s nothing better than PREVENTING them in the first place. What I thought was a beautiful brown tan back in the ‘80’s was really an injury to my skin. That’s why I INSIST that my kids slather on sunblock with at least SPF 30.
You may not be able to turn back the clock, but with a little help from a board-certified plastic surgeon, you can repair your mistakes and make your skin beautiful once again.