They're a sign of aging that most of us notice first: brown, or age spots. They often indicate damage to the skin but can they be undone? Malorie Maddox did some before-and-after research.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger is a dermatologist who told us, “Just about everybody, after they're 25 or so, has some issues with this."
Malorie first noticed two dark spots on her face right after having her son. Dr. Schlessinger said it's something his office is treating more frequently.
“A lot of people have the attitude that it's already done. I've already damaged my skin. I can't get back."
Malorie decided to give the recommended treatments a try. First, the makeup came off. Then it was time to take ultraviolet pictures to see what really was lurking underneath the skin. The pictures showed age spots, wrinkles and pores. They also prompted a confession that she occasionally used a tanning bed.
The doctor said, “I think tanning beds and brown spots go hand in hand. You go to a tanning bed, you're going to get brown spots."
The pictures told the same story. They also told the story of six spots instead of the two she was aware of but the dermatologist was optimistic and said, “I think you're going to have a real chance of bouncing back."
Let the treatments begin.
First came a quick laser procedure, done the same day. Dr. Schlessinger targeted all six spots in about 10 minutes.
The second treatment was designed to repair what was lurking underneath the skin. Malorie was put on the Obagi Skin Care System; a six-step process that is numbered and easy to use.
Six weeks later: the moment of truth. Did it work?
Lasers and skin care systems aside, there's a simple, easy way we can all improve our skin.
“If you stay out of the sun, I can guarantee you'll have about a 10-year difference over your peers," the doctor said.
He also said that after the age of 20 to 25, everyone should be on Retin A.
As for cost, the laser treatment that Malorie had runs around $250. The Obagi Skincare System costs between $325 and $400. Once results appear, some clients can pare down to an Obagi system with fewer products. That will also lower the cost to the neighborhood of $150.
Keep in mind, all of this is considered cosmetic. Insurance will not cover it.