All About Age Spots
Disclaimer: We do not offer medical advice. In cases when we suspect precancerous conditions we will recommend a professional dermatologist consultation.
Are you someone who has a lot of moles, or freckles? Maybe you have brown spots on your hands that weren’t there 20 years ago. And maybe you are wondering what the difference is, where they come from, and if they are something to worry about. Let’s put your mind at ease.
Solar lentigines – also known as age spots, liver spots or sun spots – as well as brown spots, pigmented lesions, and birthmarks appear due to an excessive amount of melanin in the skin. Melanin is what gives our skin color, and the amount varies from person to person.
Sometimes we are born with spots, but often times they creep up with age and/or excessive sun exposure. For example, freckles and age spots can look similar. But freckles often fade in the wintertime, whereas age spots do not. Common forms of age spots are due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation, such as sunburn, indoor tanning, phototherapy, or radiation therapy for cancer.
Should I worry?
Many types of spots are harmless and benign (non-cancerous). It is important to visit a competent expert who knows the difference between a suspicious lesion and a benign age spot. If there is any reason to suspect that an age spot could be cancerous, your laser treatment expert should be ready to send you to your doctor for a consultation immediately.
How can I treat benign spots?
There are times when you may want to remove or fade spots, maybe for cosmetic reasons, or maybe because a raised spot is annoyingly rubbing against your clothing. Topical therapies, like fade cream, are an option, but results are inconsistent and it can take a long time before seeing results.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), or skin rejuvenation, is a more effective way to remove or fade age spots. Dual Wave Candela, or “true laser,” works well at removing scaly, raised spots, which are known as seborrheic keratosis.
IPL works very well at eradicating solar lentigines, which are the most commonly treated spots. While permanent removal is not guaranteed, they almost never reappear, unless you have excessive exposure to the sun or do not use sun protection. You will get more solar lentigines throughout life, so maintenance will be required.
What can I expect after treatment?
The great thing about IPL is there is no downtime. We use a numbing agent only when necessary, and the skin stays slightly pink for only a few hours after treatment. We recommend Jane Iredale mineral makeup to help cover up while the skin heals.
True laser may cause some crusting of the raised spot, but this will disappear in 1-2 weeks. Your skin will also be more sensitive to the sun for about a month after treatment, so be careful and apply sunscreen and sun protective clothing if you must be in the sun during that time.
It only takes a few treatments to fade benign spots: 3-7 IPL treatments for solar lentigines and usually 1-2 true laser treatments for each seborrheic keratosis spot.Find out more information on spots and laser treatment here.
Our owner, Valery, is a Certified Laser Technician and Certified Laser Safety Officer. Contact us for a free consultation regarding your age spot concerns.
What is your experience with skin rejuvenation? We want to hear from you!