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Skin Discoloration: Live With It or Fight It?

Posted by on February 23, 2015

After successfully beating back a minor case of acne, one of my teenage daughters, who was born in Ethiopia, noticed that she had small darker spots on her skin – not scars, exactly, but vestiges of the vanished blemish. And she was distressed! After all, for a teenager, appearance is all, and, when we next visited her dermatologist, we asked about what we could do to get rid of those marks.

Not much, it turns out.

Only time would fade those marks, the doctor said. But she did add that there was some reason to believe that exfoliating the skin through “homestyle dermabrasion” might speed the process along. While there was no hard and fast proof of this, taking steps to slough off the upper layer of the skin might help fade spots and reduce their prominence.

I had my own reasons for wanting to know. As we get older, annoying small discolorations appear on even the best skin, no matter how well-cared-for. They’re usually the result of sun damage and exposure to the elements. I had been fretting over a few of these small discolorations – marks that I knew weren’t prominent, and probably not very visible to anyone but me. Even so, I knew they’d get more visible over time.

That was where using the Pulsaderm Buddy comes in.

With one of the replacement brushes that can be fitted onto the small sonic cleansing unit, the one that exfoliates, it’s possible to do a mild form of “dermabrasion” at home. It’s not anything like a medical “face peel,” in which the epidermis is buffed away to boost the production of collagen and “new skin.” But there’s a real tingle, and the results may be progressive. Over several weeks, I’m convinced that I was able to see improvement in those darker patches on my face. If I’m right, and the progress continues, I’ll feel safe in letting my teenager try her own Pulsaderm Buddy for the small discolorations on her own face.

For now, I’m experimenting with the exfoliating attachment to the Pulsaderm Buddy and some mild washing grains that the dermatologist recommended. It’s not an exact science, she reminded us. Young skin acts up for many different reasons, from stress to genetics. Older skin reacts to many things also, from the shift of body chemicals to sleep deprivation to the influence of environmental toxins. Giving antibiotics for persistent acne usually works to tame that infection; but what works on smaller facial flaws is inexact, and varies from person to person.

Still, anything that stimulates the skin, and invigorates the surface, can’t be bad, can it?

As the doctor said, a gentle exfoliation would hurt only skin of the very, very sensitive sort, and even then, using the exfoliating attachment twice a week, instead of every other day, would probably quiet that skin down.

Taking care of your skin is a lifelong endeavor. For my teenager, facing the world with smoother, prettier skin is worth everything in the here and now. And as I look back over the years between us, I see that the habit of deep cleansing has paid off for me as well. If nothing else, it’s a skin-insurance policy for her, too.

As for those small discolorations, the gentle sonic cleansing of the Pulsaderm Buddy may help. Drinking water will help, and getting plenty of sleep, and using a non-greasy sunscreen will help, too. Nothing is perfect, but when it comes to caring for your skin, small changes lead to big gains over time.

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