A spot is a general term that refers to darkening of skin color. Skin spots can be localized or widespread and even the smallest one can demoralize the patient. Although often benign, they can also be an indication of an underlying disease or skin cancer.
Disorders causing spots on the skin are very common. Sun rays, hormones, various drugs and cosmetics are commonly held responsible for spot development. The condition can also occur in response to trauma and various skin diseases. Laser and chemical peeling treatments by people who are not experts can also cause spots.
In general, the most common skin spots are sunspots, pregnancy spots (melasma), spots developing due to various cosmetics and vegetables, and spots occurring after acne and skin injuries. However, skin spots can sometimes be a sign of skin cancer. If the spot is multicolored, has asymmetric or irregular borders, or results in bleeding, itching, crusting or an open wound, the person should definitely go to a dermatologist to be checked for skin cancer. Redheads and blondes, people with colored eyes, those with a family history of skin cancer, people with more than 50 nevi in their bodies, and those with a history of sunburns in childhood have higher risk in terms of skin cancer development. However, skin cancers make up only a small percentage of skin spots. The differentiation will be made by the dermatologist.
What methods are used in spot treatment?
The treatment of spots vary depending on whether they are congenital or age-related or due to external factors. Winter months are the most ideal period for the treatment of almost all kinds of spots.
- The person should first use a good sunscreen Sunscreens are protective agents that actually reduce spot development or prevent the increase of existing spots. You should choose a sunscreen according to your skin type. For example, choose a cream if your skin type is dry and a lotion if it is oily! Be careful to avoid the sun as much as possible between 11:00 and 15:00 during the summer months as this is the period when the sun rays arrive most directly! Apply your sunscreen at least 20-30 minutes before going out! Do not apply alcohol-containing products such as perfumes on your skin before going out in the sun as they increase the risk of spot development. Renew your sunscreen every 2 hours at the beach and every four hours in daily life!
- There are many treatment protocols for existing spots including spot-removing creams and serums, chemical peels, dermaroller, PRP, mesotherapy, high technology lasers and light systems. It is essential to determine the person’s type of skin and the depth and extent of the spot to plan a treatment specific to the person. These treatments are usually more successful in light-skinned people and for spots located in the upper layer of the skin.
Spot-removing creams and serums: These are first stage treatment that the patients can easily apply at home. Products such as vitamin A, vitamin C, hydroquinone, kojic acid or arbutin are often preferred. However, these treatments may irritate the skin and should be applied under the control of a dermatologist.
Chemical Peeling : Peeling is a refreshing process to clear space for the new cells underneath and is used to renew the layer of skin damaged by external factors and especially the sun. Peeling with fruit acids can be used for all skin types in particular and does not cause sensitization. This process is performed approximately once every 3 weeks and takes about 10 minutes. It ensures that the upper layers of the skin are cleaned and refreshed, without the need for anesthesia. It renews the skin and results in smooth and soft skin. It also decreases color differences on the skin, strengthens the collagen structure and strongly moisturizes the skin. An average of 4-6 sessions is recommended for spot treatment.
Enzyme Peeling (Cosmelan, Dermamelan): These systems for skin spots have been developed in recent years, and can be applied in any season, have a minimum risk of side effects, and mainly suppress the spot development mechanism. The peeling can be applied to patients with any type of skin color as it does not contain acid. After proper skin cleansing, the procedure starts with the application of the mask. The mask remains on the skin for about 4-8 hours. After the appropriate duration, the mask is removed by washing with water or with the help of a neutral cleaner. Enzyme peeling cream should be used regularly 2-3 times a day for the next two weeks and then once daily for 2 weeks. The person can continue with his/her social life as no skin wound is created. The skin is cleared of the spots within approximately 1-4 weeks after the procedure.
Dermaroller Treatment: A dermaroller has microneedles lined up on a cylinder and is another form of treatment we use for skin spots. It activates the wound healing mechanism of the skin by opening many small canals in the skin in a controlled manner. Besides, it increases the effectiveness of spot-fading creams and serum.
PRP (Platelet rich plasma): The platelet rich portion of a small amount of blood taken from the person is placed into a special tube and subjected to centrifugation and then returned to the same person through an injection. The PRP process is applied as 3-4 sessions with 3-week intervals and reduces spots while making the skin glow. Application following dermaroller or laser treatment is more successful.
Mesotherapy: Products with various properties are injected into the skin. Substances with spot-removing features are injected under the skin for 6-8 sessions with a 1- or 2-week interval for spot treatment. It can be applied alternately with PRP.
Lasers: Lasers stimulate the pigment and collagen and are successfully used in the treatment of many skin spots such as freckles, birthmarks, senile spots and sunspots seen commonly today. However, not every laser is effective for spot treatment. Q-switched lasers are preferred for this purpose. These are more successful in superficial spots in subjects with light skin. While results can be seen quickly for superficial spots according to their extension depth in the skin, deeper spots need more sessions. Session intervals are 3-4 weeks. The number of sessions vary by patient and is usually 2 to 6.
Intense pulse light system (IPL, BBL): Unwanted spots on the face and body can be treated with light systems by renewing the skin usually in 3-6 sessions without peeling. Sessions should be applied to non-bronzed skin and at 3-week intervals.