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I am a 56 year old lady who has spent much time in tropical climates. I loved it when I was younger, but now I am beginning to develop "old lady spots", that are sunspots I assume, though perhaps some other form of facial discoloration.

The appearance and increasing prominence of these spots of darker, slightly yellow skin have really aged my look. If there is anything I can do to reverse this process, I would very much like to try. What would you recommend for a middle aged lady who would like to get rid of sunspots or facial discoloration?

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Well, for mild sun discoloration, you may try a series of alpha hydroxy acid peels or a TCA peel if you like. Chemical peels can absolutely improve sun spots and age spots and general pigment issues as well as reducing scarring and fine lines. They do come with risks though, including further pigment issues, so discuss with a dermatologist first. A more modern alternative to chemical peels would be laser skin resurfacing. This is more targeted and causes less damage to the skin initially. Note that the results of either are not guaranteed to be permanent, but you should find your temporary solution by using one of these.

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If you find out the answer, let me know! I personally have quite a lot of sun spots on my hands. I used to try and cover it with some foundation but then I though, what the hell are you doing putting foundation on your hands. I just thought oh well, I don't care. Fortunately I don't have any sun spots on my face. That must be an awful experience. I am so sorry. I think I might want to do something about that myself if I had it. Maybe foundation is a good short term answer for that kind of thing anyway.
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Would you be most open to natural treatments or medical treatments?

Natural treatments used by some people to try to treat sun spots include such things as raw potato juice (I think you are meant to either put a potato through a juicer or grate it and squeeze the juice out), lemon juice, and even milk or yogurt, which contain lactic acid.

Microdermabrasion, in which the outer layer of the skin is removed, can be a more medical treatment option. Deeper chemical peels can also help you out. Laser resurfacing, however, is currently probably the most popular treatment option. This is targeted without damaging the skin too much.

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I just wanted to say that you may not need laser treatment or anything as invasive as that to get rid of your pigmentation problems as the result of sun damage, which by the way are called "solar lentigenes" in medical jargon. (That might help you when doing more research into treatment options!) Murad’s Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel has come up with excellent results for people suffering from this exact problem as well as other pigment issues, and is something you could consider trying out before consulting a dermatologist with almost no risk at all. Might save you some money and pain.

Rosie

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Yeah, bleaching type creams may help you with that. You should also look into hydroquinone if you haven't already. That stuff is used for pigment disorders as well as by people who would simply like to lighten their skin up a bit for whatever reason... and in my not so humble opinion creams should be your first point of call before you move on to anything beyond that like TCA peels and stuff which can be pricey as well as leave you with downtime. It's up to you though and you could consult a derm or your GP about this if you're hoping to get medical treatment.

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Hydroquinone isn't safe. It is banned in most EU countries including presumably the UK because it causes bad irritation in some people and lord knows what else in the long term. Safer skin lightening techniques are either lemon and turmeric, or laser treatment. In this day and age, there is really no need to resort to such thing as literally bleaching your skin with nasty chemicals any more. There are other things that deliver results without causing risks.

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Hydroquinone IS the gold standard when it comes to skin lightening. Pretty much the only worry is that it can irritate the skin. If individual patients are considering using hydroquinone, this is something they need to discuss with their healthcare providers. There are no long-term risks involved though. Kojic acid, which appears in some soaps, is another less harsh alternative that has helped many people treat their age spots. Retinol, too, can help.
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I think anybody with serious sun damage should consider Fraxel laser treatment.

Fraxel is done in two forms, essentially intensive and more gentle, over more sessions. The latter is a great option for people with sun damage. The added benefit of Fraxel laser treatment for sun damage is that you get a general ant-age treatment at the same time (whether you want it or not, LOL). That means you have two in one and can take years off your face both because the damage will be gone and your wrinkles will be smoothed out.

Good luck!
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Hi

I am suffering from sunspots as well, I think. I have these brown marks on my hands and face that were not there before. I am not sure if they are age spots or sun spots but what I do know is that they are brownish yellow and not very attractive. I would love to get rid of them if at all possible. But I don't want to spend thousands of dollars because that is not the kind of money that is available to me. What can I do to make them disappear or at least fade a little with creams or some other home treatment please?

Do I need to be worried about an increased skin cancer risk now?
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