Walk down the skin care aisle at the store and you’ll find a multitude of over-the-counter products to cleanse and exfoliate your skin, treat acne, diminish wrinkles and age spots—and make you look younger every day.
In your bathroom cabinet, many of these same products sit only partially used—with little or no results. When it comes to treating acne scars, age spots and more, it’s time to clean out the cabinet and turn to the professionals for a variety of specialty products and services that will help you achieve optimal results and be more comfortable being you.
FROM ACNE SCARS TO AGE SPOTS
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), acne scars can become more noticeable with aging as the skin loses collagen. Multiple treatments to reverse or minimize acne scars are available, depending on the patient’s needs.
Age spots are flat, brown marks on the skin that also come with aging. “They usually appear on the face, chest, back, back of the hands and on top of the feet,” states the AAD. “Age spots are caused by exposure to UV radiation.”
“Microneedling breaks up superficial scar tissue and stimulates new collagen growth to smooth mildly uneven skin texture,” says board-certified and Mayo Clinic-trained Victoria Hagstrom, M.D., founder and president of anew medspa.clinic. She tailors this treatment, as well as other appearance-enhancing services, to meet the needs of each client, including smoothing wrinkles and managing acne.
“More severe scars require laser treatments to both break down, as well as physically remove, old scar tissue, replacing it with smoother, softer collagen to fill in depressed areas and smooth down ridges and bumps,” says Dr. Hagstrom.
The fastest way to remove sunspots is a specialty laser treatment called BBL (broadband light therapy), which is also known as IPL (intense pulsed light) or photofacial therapy. She explains that lasers, properly performed, yield excellent results. The process includes a skin assessment and an application of post-treatment care and instructions. It stimulates new collagen growth, elasticity and cell turnover, resulting in improved tone, texture and luster.
The newest acne scarring solution, Bellafill, is now FDA-approved for the correction of acne scars—to fill in the deepest and largest depressions of acne scars on patients over the age of 21 years. “It is injected into the skin layers to provide a constant stimulus for new collagen to fill the hole left behind from a large acne lesion, such as a cystic acne nodule,” says Dr. Hagstrom.
Bellafill is “a smooth, collagen gel-based dermal filler that immediately adds volume to the skin.” It’s also used to correct smile lines.
Facial peels can be effective in reducing acne and age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. “I suggest a series of three to six weekly treatments,” says Erica Buck of Erica’s Esthetics, where services include facials, face waxing, dermaplaning, makeup and body waxing. “This process involves a series of peels that start out with no downtime and then gradual medium-depth peels, depending on the severity.”
Clients tend to see results by using a consistent active ingredient home care regimen within two weeks after treatment. “They begin to see age spots fade and acne reduce, depending on severity, with significant change in color and texture,” says Buck. “Acne reducing treatments, along with daily home care, protect the integrity of the skin and cell membrane, resulting in a more even, smooth and glowing complexion.”
Age spots also can be treated with effective prescription ingredients in specialty skin care products, which help fade the spots gradually over time. If these products are used regularly, they can help prevent new age spots too.
Trish Amundson is a Rochester-area freelance writer.