Sun Spots

Dear Doctor: I am interested in having sun spots or age spots removed from my cheeks. I’m also interested in different chemical peels and dermabrasion for ongoing skin care.

Dear Reader: Millions of people are in pursuit of the same goal as you. The good news is that your objectives are achievable… providing you follow sound skin care principles.

Superficial layers of skin can be removed by a variety of methods of skin resurfacing including chemical peeling, dermabrasion and laser resurfacing. With any of these methods, outer layers of the sun damaged, wrinkled, or scarred skin are removed. However, it is only with the deeper techniques that new collagen and elastic fibers are produced in the deeper layers of skin. Superficial resurfacing procedures (like those offered by non-plastic surgeons) only temporarily “polish” the skin, much like polishing a piece of antique furniture. Within a couple of weeks, it needs polishing again.

For long-term, permanent results, we feel that multi-level skin resurfacing (dermabrasion and chemical peeling that includes not only the top layers, but extends into the dermal layers) offers superior results, especially in treating sun damage and wrinkling. While the recovery time takes longer, the results are measured, not in terms of weeks, but years. However, every skin is different, and we will recommend which combination of procedures might be best for yours.

Following a multi-level resurfacing procedure, your “new skin” will be much like the skin of a newborn baby in that it will take time for it to toughen and tolerate direct sun, wind exposure, and certain skin, care products. Because it is “new” skin the texture and color will be somewhat different from that which has not been resurfaced. Makeup can generally camouflage any contrast.

I am in the process of developing a comprehensive skin care system that includes “at home” care as well as those offered in our clinic and The McCollough Skin Enhancement Center.

If you would like any more information on this or other health related topics, call the McCollough Institute for Appearance and Health at 251-967-7600, email or visit our website

If you would like to ask Dr. McCollough a question, email him at All correspondence may be used in future columns; however, names and any personal information will be kept completely confidential.