I love the sun. I got my first sun spots (also known as age spots, liver spots) on my arms and chest when I was 23. I'm now 35. Two years ago I had my first medical-grade full-body microdermabrasion (mainly for the stretch marks on my belly but also for a general improvement). What I didn't expect was for it to have an effect on my age spots, as well.
Most women I know are concerned with their age spots because they're, well, unaesthetic, but the reason they worry most is because sun-damaged skin is often linked to skin cancer. Popular belief says that if you have sun spots, you have skin cancer, which is not true. The right way to put it is: age spots show that you are at risk at developing skin cancer, because they are signs of severe damage to your skin from sun exposure.
Before I can explain how microderm abrasion fades age spots, it's important to understand how they work. The main cause for age spots is cumulative sun exposure. When you sunbathe, the melanocites in your skin produce melanin (the pigment responsible for the coloring of your skin) to protect your body from the negative effect of UV rays.
In time, melanin deposits on certain areas most often exposed to the sun and creates the so called sun spots. Cumulative UV exposure is the main culprit but melanocites also begin to malfunction as you age. The fact that liver spots form on the surface means skin rejuvenation techniques can help fade them, and they do.
During micro dermabrasion treatment, the skin is sandblasted with a jet of micro crystals which abrades off part of the melanin stuck in the spots (but not all of it). This process also stimulates collagen production, so that the skin also regains density and elasticity.
It can take 6 to 12 microbrasions for smaller age spots to be entirely removed and for larger ones to fade. After the first 4 microdermabrasions, many of my age spots were gone (admittedly, these were really small) while the larger ones began to fade. I also had a maintenance microabrasion after 2 months.
I didn't have microderm abrasion specifically for age spot removal (I thought I might need laser for that), but the outcome was surprising for a non-surgical procedure that feels this gentle. You don't really think micro dermabration can be this effective when all you're left with after treatment is some mild redness and stinging.
Many personal microdermabrasion products claim to be able to fade age spots. I did try the Neutrogena body microdermabrasion system, but by then, most of my age spots had been erased by the spa microderm I had, so I cannot speak from experience. A few friends of mine, however, are raving about Dermanew (I used the facial rejuvenation system from Dermanew and if their body microderm kit is as good as the facial system, it's definitely worth a try).
Preventing the formation of age spots is the best treatment, that's what doctors and skincare experts say, anyway: stay out of the sun and/or use plenty of high SPF daily. Easier said than done. If you love sun bathing as much as I do and cannot stay away from the beach or it's already too late for prevention, there's no need to panic. Age spots and sun-damaged skin are treatable through a number of techniques:
Next, some of the over-the-counter microdermabrasion systems I've tried.
A: By exfoliating the top layer of the skin, microderm machine cleans deep into the pore and removes excess oil and dirt that clog pores - which causes blackheads. Most blackheads are removed while more stubborn blackheads are reduced.
A: Yes, you can, but the results you get after just one session are not that impressive. Best results are obtained after 6 to 12 professional sessions (depending on your expectations and severity of your skin imperfections), respectively one month of use for one of the personal microdermation kits.
A: This procedure exfoliates the top layer of skin which consists of dead skin cells. Microderm abrasian machine stimulates collagen production, essential to healthy skin and also evens out skin texture and tone.
A: The Over The Counter microdermibration kits from Neutrogena works for some people and doesn't work for others. There are many satisfied consumers who say that Nuetrogena kit does make their face feel smother and look young. On the other hand, there are some unhappy people who say the kit is either too harsh, causing them skin irritation and breakouts, or not very effective in reducing superficial scars and fine wrinkles. The only way to find out if the kit is effective for you is to try to obtain a free sample and test the formula on your skin.
A: OTC microdermibration kits can be used on your neck as long as it's especially formulated as a face micro derma brasion kit (unless otherwise stated). Using a body microdermabrasion set on your neck may be too harsh and result in irritation. Spa micro derm abrasion is suitable for use on the neck.
A: Stretch marks appear on your skin as uneven skin tone and texture. By exfoliating the outermost layer of the skin, microdermabarasion kit evens out skin tone and texture, thus reducing or totally removing stretchmarks.
A: Microdermabra is safe for young women (and men) of all skin types but most doctors recommend it for girls aged 14 and older, mainly because they want to make sure that all major hormonal changes are over and the results of the procedure are as good as they can be.
A: Microderm evens out skin texture and helps erase superficial pimple scars. More severe pimple scarring needs more advanced non-surgical techniques, like a deep chemical peel or laser face rejuvenation.
A: Over The Counter microbrasion set is safe and effective for many patients with acne-prone skin, but if your skin breaks out a lot or you suffer from moderate to severe acne then this procedure is not the solution for you (the exfoliating process may cause irritation and further breakouts). Some people with acne-prone skin have found that some or all home microderm abrasion kits makes them breakout. This could be caused by certain ingredients found in the micro-crystal cream and is not necessarily linked to the way microdermabrasion works. If home kits make you breakout, consider professional micro dermabration.
A: Microdermabarasion machine removes the outermost layer of the skin by sandblasting it with a jet of micro crystals. During the procedure, part of the pigment is physically eliminated and, at the same time, collagen production is stimulated so that your skin regains its density and elasticity. After 6 to 12 microderm abrasian treatments, smaller sun spots are entirely removed while larger ones fade significantly.
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