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Age Spot Removal

Age spots, also known as sun spots or liver spots, are small discolorations that appear on the surface of the skin. Though they are most commonly brown in color, they may also be gray or black. They usually occur as the result of spending a lot of time in the sun or using commercial tanning beds or sun lamps. The UV rays given off by the sun and tanning beds cause an increased production of melanin, the pigment that is responsible for tanning of the skin. In time, excess melanin can cause spots. While they usually are completely harmless, many people choose to remove them.

Methods for Age Spot Removal

There are numerous methods for age spot removal. They vary greatly in terms of cost and effectiveness. Topical bleaching creams, available both as a prescription and over-the-counter, are one of the most popular methods. These products are easy to use, and they are generally safe when used as directed. However, these products can take a long time to work, and many people fear the long-term effects of the chemical ingredients.

Homeopathic remedies are some of the most affordable, but they have the smallest success rate. Since these methods rely solely on the natural properties of ingredients you may already have in your home, they are often seen as a good first step in trying to clear dark spots. Common ingredients that are known for their natural bleaching properties include fresh lemon, honey and plain yogurt. One common home remedy for getting rid of age spots is a mixture of one part Borax and two parts sugar applied to the affected area daily using a cotton swab.

Best Age Spot Removal Methods

Medical procedures designed to remove the top layers of the skin are an alternative that provides more reliable results. One such procedure is a chemical peel. During this treatment, an acid is applied to the skin, causing a very thin layer to peel away. This causes new skin to grow in its place. Another treatment is dermabrasion. Like chemical peels, it removes the outer layers of the skin, but it does so using a rapidly rotating brush. These procedures can be a bit painful, and they usually cause scabbing until the new skin forms. Several sessions may be necessary. These procedures can only be performed by trained medical professionals as they can be quite dangerous and lead to permanent scarring when performed incorrectly.

Laser treatments are currently the best way to get rid of age spots. Unlike other methods, lasers can precisely pinpoint dark spots and destroy them without harming the surrounding tissue. Using a small handheld device, a doctor uses intense laser energy to kill the cells that are producing excess melanin. Eventually, the clumps of dark pigment will break apart and be absorbed into the body. The procedure causes minimal discomfort. Most patients only feel a warming sensation, and there is no need for any downtime. Laser treatments also do not cause unsightly scarring. Though they can be costly, lasers are some of the safest and most effective methods of age spot removal.

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