What are sun/age spots?
With ultraviolet radiation exposure, free radicals build up, collagen and elastin are broken down, while melanocytes produce more melanin. This melanin pigment deposits in the skin and becomes known as sun/age spots.
The best treatment is prevention. Sun avoidance is your primary defense. Unfortunately we crave sun exposure as human beings, especially in the far north. Sun exposure helps with mood elevation while deprivation can cause seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The use of tanning salons may make you feel better, but your risk of skin cancer and sun damage is increased. Once you have sunspots or age spots, it is not easy to remove them without damaging the underlying skin.
An experienced aesthetic professional will be able to provide treatment that is aggressive enough to remove brown marks without causing burning, scarring, or worsening of pigment.
What can be done?
It is important to have realistic expectations. No treatment will remove all of your sun/age spots but most will reduce the amount of visible spots and other effects of sun damage such as premature wrinkling and broken capillaries.
- IPL Photofacial is the mainstay of sun spot reduction. It darkens the spots for a period up to 10 days and they then slough off naturally when they are healed and ready.
- Fraxel Dual 1927 nm Thulium Laser is ideal for more intensive age spot removal and is also excellent for skin resurfacing, improving texture.