Age Spots Are No Match for Cosmetic Dermatology Treatments

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"Dr. Fairfield, are these age spots? Help! Make them go away!" This is something I've heard from my clients forever. Fortunately, now there are effective treatments to fade, or even abolish, these unsightly darkened blotches that appear on the face and the backs of hands.

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Sun damage definitely causes skin pigment cells to go wonky

Leading Cosmetic Dermatologist James Fairfield, MD has just released another in a series of free articles on his web site. Age Spots: Spotting the Best Treatments to Fade Skin Discoloration is available for immediate download at http://www.cmderm.com.

Unsightly darkened blotches that turn up on your face and the backs of your hands -- eek, age spots! What to do? Dr. James Fairfield talks about the latest cosmetic dermatology treatments for skin discoloration -- microdermabrasion, broad-spectrum light and later treatments -- explaining how they fade out age spots and describing their side benefits.

First, though, Fairfield emphasizes the importance of protecting your skin from solar radiation. "Sun damage definitely causes skin pigment cells to go wonky," Fairfield says, "and that brings on the age spots," along with the other damage it wreaks. So protective clothing and the right sunscreen (with an SPF of at least 30, and for blocking both UVA and UVB radiation) are essential. "Invest in some great hats," Fairfield recommends.

But even the most diligent sun-avoider may develop age spots - the tendency to get them can be in your genes. Among the treatments that modern cosmetic dermatology has to offer, two types are particularly effective. The first works through mechanical removal of surface skin cells, and the second uses light energy to penetrate to the middle layer of skin.

The leading mechanical treatment for age spots is microdermabrasion, using crystals to remove damaged surface skin, including the cells discolored with excess pigment. Fairfield describes the procedure and its bonus benefits. Microdermabrasion treatments are safe, convenient and quick, easily fitting into a busy lifestyle. They're also a good alternative for those with chemical-sensitive skin that won't tolerate chemical treatments.

Light treatments for age spots, on the other hand, work in the middle skin layer to destroy the damaged cells that are cranking out the unnecessary pigment. Fairfield describes IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light Therapy, which uses brief pulses of intense broad-spectrum light energy to penetrate into that middle layer. There the light energy converts to heat energy when it interacts with the darker cells, destroying them. A similar treatment uses an LED light source, destroying the cells without creating heat.

Laser light treatments use only a single frequency of light energy, which also targets cells in the middle layer of skin. "Some laser treatments do damage surface skin cells and cause them to exfoliate," notes Fairfield, but with the Fraxelâ„¢ laser, the energy passes through, leaving the surface undamaged. This is the treatment he prefers for his clients. "I have used it on the backs of my own hands, and I'm very impressed with the results," Fairfield says.

Dr. Fairfield advises his clients who are distressed by age spots not to despair. Modern cosmetic dermatology treatments offer a range of options for showing them to the door!

James C. Fairfield, MD has established the oldest and most respected dermatology practice in the Delaware Valley. For more free cosmetic dermatology information and resources, visit his web site at http://www.cmderm.com.

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MICHELE PARIZA WACEK

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