Cleansing and moisturizing is often not enough to keep your skin looking its best. Over time, sun exposure can lead to areas of hyperpigmentation. Known as age spots, sun spots or liver spots, these flat dark brown or grayish areas are commonly found on the hands, face, shoulders, and other areas frequently exposed to the sun. The brown pigment in age spots is lipofuscin, a complex mixture of fats, proteins, and metals, especially iron. It is waste from worn-out cellular structures that the body cannot easily eliminate, and it piles up inside cells. In the skin these accumulations create a cosmetic problem.
Because there are many types of hyperpigmentation and many possible causes, treatment can be challenging. Over-the-counter preparations rarely help. Common skin treatments such as laser therapy or chemical peeling may worsen some conditions. Therefore, one of the most popular treatments is a compounded topical skin lightening cream, which can be customized for each patient’s skin type and problem. Medications can be compounded to be free of allergens, dyes, fragrances and preservatives. Our pharmacist will work with you and your doctor to formulate the best preparation to treat your specific condition.
It can also help to take antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E in appropriate doses. Ask our pharmacist which supplement and dose is best for you.
Other types of skin spots, such as freckles or birthmarks, may be present at birth or develop over time. Medical conditions can also cause dark areas of skin. Even if you decide to live with your age spots, it’s a good idea to see a dermatologist to be sure they are not precancerous or cancerous lesions that have to be removed for medical reasons.
Our compounding pharmacist can work with your doctor to provide the best remedy for difficult-to-treat dermatologic problems.