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Sale and Altrincham Messenger 27 June 2013

PRESCRIPTION SKINCARE…….my preferred solution for sunspots

Q – I am in my late thirties, and I have quite a few patches of brown skin on my cheeks and forehead, which I think are probably the result of too much sun when I was younger. I try to conceal them with heavy foundation, but wondered if there was a way I could get rid of them. Aneeta, Sale
A – Hi Aneeta. From your description, I would agree that these patches probably are related to sun damage, though all brown spots should be reviewed by a doctor. They are often known as sun spots, or age spots, or even liver spots (due to their colour). The more formal name for them is hyperpigmentation.
Our skin contains cells which produce a pigment called melanin, and this gives us our natural colour. However, the UV element of sunlight stimulates the production of melanin, and exposure to sun can cause ‘clusters’ of melanin to appear, as darker patches on the skin.

There are a variety of treatment options available, including dermabrasion, freezing and laser therapy, though these treatments may need repeating, and can cause discolouration. My preferred approach is to treat with a skincare range which contains prescription strength active ingredients, and which gradually fades the spots over a period of several months. By starting on a low dose, and then gradually increasing the dose as the skin adapts, unwanted effects can be kept to a minimum. All skin types are suitable for this treatment. As with all prescribed medication, a detailed assessment would be needed before starting treatment.

Finally, prevention is always better than cure, which is why I recommend the use of a broad spectrum suncream on a daily basis.