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This make-up artist and esthetician has a (bordering on unhealthy) addiction to all things beauty! No amount of eyeshadows or cream liners will ever be enough! I go giddy for all things girly. Lipgloss might not be able to heal the world, but it can lift a gal's spirits!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Spotted- Addressing Hyperpigmentation

Feeling a little spotted after enjoying the summer sun my beauties? La Papillon's resident expert, dermatologist Dr. Noelle Sherber is here to help!

Leopard print accessories are everywhere in this fall's fashion magazines, but it is definitely not a good look for your most important accessory, your skin! Summer sun often leaves brown spots on sun-exposed skin. Spots that fade fully when your skin gets a break from the sun are freckles (ephiledes), but spots that stick around are true sun spots (solar lentigines). Sun spots can be treated in several different ways, and evening out your skin tone is one of the best things you can do to make your skin look more youthful. Hydroquinone is a commonly used ingredient to fade hyperpigmentation (dark areas) in over-the-counter and prescription products, but you should use this under the care of a dermatologist since in some people it can cause unwanted darkening of pigmentation (called ochronosis) rather than the desired lightening - your dermatologist can make sure to catch this early if it happens for you. The spot treatment in Kate Somerville's new Complexion Correction Kit contains hydroquinone. Kojic acid is another ingredient that lightens unwanted pigmentation without causing as much irritation as prescription-strength hydroquinone can. SkinCeuticals Pigment Regulator is a good kojic acid good product to try. Additionally, professional-strength chemical peels can help to lighten sunspots, such as the SkinMedica ReJuvenize peels need to be performed every few weeks in conjuntion with a good at-home regimen for an optimal result. Of course it's important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen while using these brightening treatments so that UVA and UVB light don't continue to stimulate those pigment-producing cells that you're trying to treat! If you've tried topical treatments for 2-3 months without sufficient improvement in stubborn spots, or if you just want to get a more instant-gratification immediate result, laser treatments or intense pulsed light can work wonders. Intense pulsed light (IPL) {I use the Sciton BBL system in my practice} is the first laser or light-based therapy that I typically recommend to my patients because there's no significant discomfort or downtime. IPL feels warm but not painful, and you can wear makeup immediately afterwards. Some people get flushed from the treatment, but that's more common when I'm treating redness with the IPL than when I'm treating brown spots. Over the several days following treatment you'll see your brown spots start to break up and look like coffee grounds. The coffee grounds should be gone in about a week, and your spots should fade over the next few weeks. Depending on how dark your spots are and how long you've had them, several treatments may be needed, but most of my patients have dramatic improvement after one session. Fall and winter are the best times for IPL treatment because I don't perform these treatments on people who have a tan - I've had patients come in with burns who were treated with IPL elsewhere despite having a tan... Be sure to have these treatments performed by a board-certified dermatologist because determining the correct energy settings for your skin is the key to a beautiful result. Madeleine and I are planning a very exciting first for La Papillon in November - a whole day of in-spa IPL on Friday the 5th! If you have brown spots or red areas that you'd like gone before the holidays this will be the perfect pick-me-up for your skin to give you a great holiday glow! See you then...

Xo, your Diva of Dermatology
Noelle Sherber, M.D., F.A.A.D.

3 comments:

Scientific Housewife said...

I would love to get rid of my sun spots but I just don't have the money right now. Great post!

Peace.Love. Lipgloss. said...

It's worth the investment down the line, glad you found the info useful though!

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