Therapy of age spots | Age spots

Therapy of age spots

Age spots do not actually need to be treated at all, as there is no medical necessity for this. However, some affected people feel so disturbed by the spots, especially if they are particularly large or located in unfavourable places, such as the middle of the face, that they wish to have a therapy for cosmetic reasons. The simplest method to make age spots invisible as quickly as possible is the so-called camouflage.

With this technique, the pigment disorders are simply treated with a well covering make-up. This method can easily be used by anyone on their own and sometimes it can even be combined with UV protection, as many make-up products now contain additional sun protection. However, sometimes it is not so easy to find a make-up in an exactly fitting colour and moreover this “treatment of age spots” has to be repeated constantly in order to guarantee a sufficient result.

A longer-term option is the treatment with bleaching agents for the skin. Bleaching creams contain different active agents which are said to have a brightening effect. The most frequently used substance is watercress extract, in addition hydroquinone, kojic acid or rocinol are used.

The disadvantage of this form of therapy is that many people do not tolerate the creams well (itching or redness can occur), that if applied unfathomably, even healthy areas of the skin are lightened and that success is a few days or weeks away. Chemical peeling is also an option for the treatment of age spots. Here, certain acids (for example, highly concentrated fruit acids or low concentrated trichloroacetic acid) are used to remove the upper layers of the skin which are newly formed after the peeling.

However, such a treatment has to be carried out by a dermatologist. The disadvantage here is also that the skin is sometimes very irritated, which not everyone can cope with. Sometimes skin damage occurs, which can resemble a large abrasions, which also increases the risk of infection.

Another possibility is a cold treatment (cryotherapy, cryopexy). In this procedure the surface of the skin is frozen with liquid nitrogen. This causes the cells of the epidermis to die off at this point, creating a blister and the skin underneath it to form a new one.

New skin also forms during dermabrasion, in this case after the doctor has sanded down the uppermost layers of the skin with a fine milling machine. Following these methods, it may become why they are rarely used. The most effective method of removing age spots is laser therapy.

In these modern laser procedures, certain lasers (for example a ruby laser, alexandrite laser or erbium YAG laser) are directed at the skin changes. They allow the pigments of the affected skin areas to be destroyed in a targeted manner while sparing the healthy surrounding tissue. This can be achieved by the fact that the laser light is absorbed much more by the intensively pigmented age spots than by the rest of the skin.

In the tissue itself, the laser light is then converted into heat, causing an inflammatory reaction that activates scavenger cells that absorb and remove the pigments. As a rule, four to six treatments with the laser are sufficient to permanently remove age spots. – Redness

  • Blotchy skin
  • Or even scarring,

An effective method to remove the age spots is laser therapy, which can be performed without any problems nowadays.

The laser produces a high-energy light (red or infrared) that penetrates into the upper layer of skin and destroys the pigment deposits. Different lasers are used to treat pigment changes: the ruby laser, the alexandrite laser and the neodymium:YAG laser. The lasers work with very short flashes of light, whereby the pigment of the upper skin layer can be specifically attacked, causing the pigment particles to burst.

These are then absorbed or transported away by the skin. The procedure is painless and is similar to needle pricking. A local anaesthetic, in the form of an anaesthetic cream, is only necessary in the case of large pigment spots.

The age spots are removed without scarring and the irradiated areas heal approximately after 1-2 weeks. Disadvantages are that some patients experience a burning sensation after the treatment, similar to a sunburn, or that the lasered skin swells. Accordingly, the irradiated areas should be cooled after the treatment and a visit to a solarium as well as an intensive stay in the sun should be avoided for the next 10 weeks or sunscreen should be used accordingly.

Skin irritated by ultraviolet radiation (UV radiation) can again lead to the formation of pigment deposits in the skin. It is recommended that age spots be removed during the colder seasons of the year, as the sun’s UV radiation is weakest in autumn or winter. Usually a single session is sufficient to remove the pigmentation spots, but the duration of the treatment depends on the size of the treatment area.

Should follow-up treatments be necessary, they can be carried out at intervals of 8 weeks. Before every laser therapy, the age spots should first be examined for malignancy, i.e. whether they are benign or malignant pigmentation, so that no malignant cells are transported through the body after the pigment spots have been destroyed. This treatment may only be carried out by experienced dermatologists.

There are numerous creams available, all of which promise to remove age spots. Some of these creams work by concealing the age spots. Similar to make-up, they can be applied to various parts of the body.

The disadvantage of these creams is that they must always be used, as they cannot improve the spots. Most of the creams which can be used for the therapy against age spots are available on the market as so-called skin lightening or bleaching creams. By bleaching the affected areas they can counteract the appearance of age spots as they can reduce the pigmentation of the skin in the affected areas.

The active ingredients contained in the creams are very different. There are some products that contain active ingredients based on plants, as well as creams that contain hydroquinone, tretinoin and hydrocortisone in combination. The cream is pharmacy-bound and not recommended without reservation.

Long-term treatment with the bleaching ointment can damage the skin and is therefore not recommended. After about six weeks a break in the treatment with the cream should be taken. Depending on the cream used, the first results can be seen after a few weeks.

It is important to apply the bleaching creams correctly. They should not be applied on large areas, but rather only on those areas where age spots are visible. Many people prefer the use of the cream to a laser treatment because the treatment with the cream is much cheaper compared to the effective laser treatment of age spots.

Caution should be taken with creams that promise to help with the annoying spots but do not contain any proven active ingredients against the spots. Only the UV protection of these creams can prevent the formation of new stains. Many bleaching creams contain the active agent hydroquinone which is suspected to be carcinogenic.

For this reason bleaching creams should never be applied over a long period of time and on large areas. There are also a number of foreign creams which may contain active agents that are not approved in Germany due to their side effects and harmfulness. As age spots are strongly related to long-term UV exposure, the use of creams with UV protection as prophylaxis is recommended to avoid age spots. There are numerous creams available which simultaneously care for the skin and can protect it relatively reliably against the appearance of the spots. Even these creams cannot offer a hundred percent protection against the appearance of age spots as UV exposure is an important but not exclusive factor for the development of age spots.