The aging face has three basic changes: volume loss, collagen loss and color changes. A lot has been made of the use of fillers such as Juvederm, or fat to replace age-related volume loss.
We have previously written about using topical creams, chemical peels and lasers for the restoration of collagen loss, but this month I want to focus on the color changes that we see in the face and what we can do about them. Like collagen, the three basic modalities for treatment are topical creams, chemical peels and laser.
What makes the three color changes in the face particularly annoying is that most of these changes are “spotty” in nature. What we like to see is smooth, even skin. White, red and brown spots mess this up. Before we consider the benign color changes, a quick word about cancer.
Melanoma is scary — any spots that are changing or look significantly different than other spots need to be evaluated for malignancy.
Now let’s consider white spots. There’s a common reason for white spots include, vitaligo, hypomalanoisis and scars. The only treatable cause is a fungal infection called tinea versicolor.
Unfortunately, for most of those unwanted white spots there is no good treatment. Sunscreen and make-up are the mainstays of treatment. Sunscreen won’t actually help the white; it just reduces the contrast between the patch and the normal skin.
Red in the skin consists of two basic problems-distinct vessels and rosacea.
There are four stages of rosacea, which can range from “rosy” cheeks to severe acne forms of rosacea.
Topical creams can help for mild pinkness to the cheeks, products containing caffeine will temporarily reduce the redness and for more severe forms of rosacea, topical and oral antibiotics are sometime helpful.