When the signs of aging show up, people want to know how to regain their youthful appearance and turn back time. A variety of solutions are available in Sterling Heights. Actually, achieving a more beautiful and youthful appearance has never been easier, and the first step is to consult with a dermatologist in the Grosse Pointe area.
Age Spots – One of the Most Common Signs of Aging
Brown pigmented spots, splotchy marks, liver spots, age spots, sunspots…no matter the term used, these marks are bothersome, and lots of people think they are irreversible. Dermatology experts in Sterling Heights are all too familiar with patients complaining about the appearance of these lesions that erupt in the aging process, and the desire to get rid of them. Happily, dermatologists in Sterling Heights have a wide variety of solutions to make these common marks go away for good.
Although these lesions are not cancerous, it is important for people to have these spots checked out at a Sterling Heights dermatology clinic. Any changes in the skin should be brought to the attention of a dermatologist just to be safe and rule out skin cancer. Whether it is a totally new spot, or whether a mole or existing age spot changes, getting to the dermatology expert is imperative.
People who see age spots on their skin are not predisposed to getting skin cancer, but the spots tend to erupt when people get into their upper 40s or 50s, and continue to increase with each few years, so the advancing years are also the years that patients’ risk of developing melanoma increases.
Patients who are prone to getting these spots might become unconcerned about the appearance of a new spot, and, remembering that they were told that the spot wasn’t cancerous a few years ago, might not rush to the dermatology clinic if a new one erupts. But dermatologists warn that it is conceivable that a melanoma could develop and be camouflaged by a group of pigmented age spots on the body, and melanoma could be missed. A person’s back is a location on the body that isn’t readily viewable, so having a full body skin check at least once a year is recommended for ruling out skin cancer.
Dermatologists in the Grosse Pointe area often write prescriptions for creams that will fade these spots and make them less noticeable. As well, patients can elect to have a dermatologist perform a procedure that will help fade them.
Dermatologists are experts at making assessments on the age spots their patients point out to them, and they use a variety of methods to remove them. While the spots are not harmful, lots of patients just want them gone. They can become irritated, and they are unsightly and signify aging.
Two Main Types of Age Spots
The two main types of these pigmented brown spots are solar lentigines and seborrheic keratoses. The good news is that both are benign; they are not early manifestations of skin cancer.
These spots are similar to freckles and appear on the hands of white adults who are advancing in years. These brown spots appear on the back of many Caucasian hands, and look like a sprinkling of snowflakes — except they’re brown.
Lentigines are similar to freckles, except true freckles get lighter when there isn’t as much exposure to the sun. Lentigines don’t fade, and they don’t go away by themselves.
Lentigines appear due to years of sun exposure. Fair-skinned individuals can avoid them by limiting time in the sun, and by protecting skin with a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. The hands shouldn’t be missed. Often times, people are vigilant about covering their arms, legs and chest with sunscreen, but the back of the hands is just as important, especially if one wants to avoid lentigines.
Dermatologists in Sterling Heights recommend slathering on the sunscreen in generous proportions. It is common for individuals to apply about one-third to one-half the recommended amount of sunscreen.
Getting Rid of Lentigines
Some over-the-counter bleaching creams will help lentigines fade, but may not remove them entirely, especially if they’re quite dark and have existed for a while.
There are also prescription creams for fading age spots. The types of prescriptions used for age spots are bleaching creams made from hydroquinone. These medicines can be used alone, or combined with retinoids and a mild steroid, which will make the spots gradually fade over several months’ time.
Sterling Heights dermatologists can also remove these spots using either a laser or liquid nitrogen. For people who have lentigines, it’s important to stay on top of them, because they will keep reappearing, unfortunately. Therefore, regularly visiting the dermatologist in Sterling Heights is advisable to do a clean sweep about one time per year. A patient can also have their annual skin check at that time, making the appointment efficient and impactful.
Some dark spots that keep appearing as time marches on are termed seborrheic keratosis and can be confused with warts or moles. However, they are a different type of skin lesion. Unlike lentigines, they are not caused by sun exposure. While a seborrheic keratosis is harmless, it does have an undesirable appearance, with a waxy/scaly/crusty surface. Luckily, dermatologists in Sterling Heights can help get rid of these spots easily, and virtually pain free.
People who get these dark spots often have more than one, and the plural of seborrheic keratosis is karatoses. Dermatologists recommend that if a patient doesn’t like the appearance of these spots, they should see the doctor to remove them when they’re new, rather than waiting. The thicker the keratosis, the more difficult it is to remove it, but dermatologists have a high success rate of removing them. The simple fact is that they will come off easier the earlier a patient gets in to the doctor to remove them.
Getting Rid of Seborrheic Keratoses
No lotion or potion will cure or get rid of a seborrheic keratosis. They can be treated in one of two ways. Cryosurgery is the use of liquid nitrogen, which is a very cold gas that is applied with a spray gun, or topically with a cotton swab. The spot will form a blister, and dry into a scabby area, which will eventually slough off, leaving the skin free of the undesirable spot. The other method is known as curettage, which involves numbing the skin with local anesthetic, scraping off the keratosis and cauterizing the skin.
Both of these treatments eliminate the seborrheic keratoses and provide patients with skin that is clear. These growths do tend to keep appearing, so staying on top of them by visiting a Sterling Heights dermatologist regularly is advisable, so that there aren’t so many growths that would make removal painful and time consuming.
Variety of Options Available
Whether it’s lentigines, seborrheic keratosis or other signs of aging, corrective procedures available from Sterling Heights dermatologists include laser and intense pulsed light therapy, cryotherapy, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, or chemical peels. When speaking to the dermatologist, patients can discuss these various options available in Sterling Heights, and together with the doctor decide on the course of action that makes the most sense. There’s no need to just live with these common signs of aging. Treatment is available, it is relatively painless, and there’s no down time.