Age spots are a cosmetic concern for many men and women as they get older, but these sun damaged parts of your skin are also a factor that may contribute to cancer as well. Therefore, the age spots removal process known as microdermabrasion is an important thing to consider if you suffer from age spots, whether or not you are bothered by the appearance of these small, dark patches on your skin.

The process of microdermabrasion is consistently being redetermined and perfected, so it's best to speak with a doctor for a complete and up-to-date idea of what the procedure that you'll experience will be like. However, in general, you can expect to experience the following treatment.

Removing Melanin

The main goal of microdermabrasion is to remove excess melanin that has built up on your skin. Melanin is a naturally occurring chemical that helps to protect your body from sun damage and ultraviolet radiation. As your body is exposed to the sun throughout your lifetime, the skin responds by generating melanin to protect itself. In certain cases, the melanin can build up in large quantities and leave a dark, patchy part of skin. These are what are known as age or sun spots.

The microdermabrasion blasts the specific area of your skin that has sun spots with a stream of tiny crystals that are designed to help force the melanin on the skin off. They literally scrub the surface layers of the skin off in order to reduce the melanin content on those particular spots. Through this process, the skin then begins to develop additional collagen to replace the skin, which helps to regain lost tenderness and sensitivity.

The Procedure

Microdermabrasion can be done in a doctor's office and requires that you wear some protective equipment. The length of each abrasion procedure and the total number of procedures that you'll need to undergo depends entirely upon the location, size and number of your sun spots. In most cases, it takes between 5 and 10 different individual treatment procedures in order to completely remove the sun spots. Most individual procedures can be completed in an hour or less, and you'll be able to return to your daily activities immediately after.

Many patients do experience some discomfort as a result of microdermabrasion treatments. Although the treatment procedure itself is not known to be quite painful, some patients experience itching, pain and other signs of discomfort after the experience. For this reason, it's a good idea to allow yourself a brief recovery period after each microdermabrasion treatment, or at least until you've determined how you're likely to react to the stream of crystals.

If you've noticed that you have developed sun spots over the years, speak with a dermatologist today to learn about how you may be able to use a microdermabrasion treatment procedure to remove those spots and to lower your risk for certain types of cancer.