After reading every Summer skin care tip and applying your best sun protection regiment, you may have gotten more ultraviolet (UV) exposure than you would have liked. Even with your best sun protection efforts and intentions, you may have gotten more exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays this summer than you’d like resulting in the appearance of sunspots. Read these 5 cosmetic treatments that will help reduce the appearance of existing sunspots and remove the damage.
- Retinoids are compounds derived from vitamin A that encourage skin cells to slough off and renew themselves, improving skin cell turnover cycles and lighten brown spots. Milder forms of retinoids, called retinols, are available in OTC creams; they may be less effective than their prescription counterparts, but can still have some benefit.
- Vitamin C and other anti-oxidants reduce UV damage to your skin. They also slow down your skin’s degeneration from the production of rogue chemicals (free radicals) that cause visible signs of damage.
- Exfoliants, such as AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids), stimulate faster skin cell turnover. This is the process by which your skin cells replace themselves. Since sun damage slows the rate at which your skin cells turn over, exfoliants may be effective treatment.
- Laser resurfacing can peel away sun damage, such as brown spots and blotchiness. There are several types of laser treatment, including: broadband light (BBL), fractionated lasers, and ablative lasers (the most aggressive). Always see a doctor to properly discuss your options.
- Chemical peels encourage the dead top layer of skin to slough off, which in many cases will take with it areas of uneven pigmentation and precancerous lesions and fine lines. Peels can either be performed in a series or as a one-time treatment, depending on the peel depth. Again, we always say to see a doctor first to discuss your options.
Remember that signs of sun damage are always important and we always recommend seeing a doctor first before trying cosmetic treatments.