Sun and age spots are commonly found on sun exposed skin. They typically do not appear until middle age and can appear in all skin types. Birthmarks and freckles are also commonly found in many people as a pigmented spot on the body without any sun damage. Spots can increase with age and with increased sun exposure. They are more common in people who freckle and who burn easily. It is important to know that if you have had enough sun to develop age spots, you have a higher risk of developing skin cancer. Age spots are collections of a pigment (called melanin) that have accumulated in the epidermis. Unlike some freckles, which darken in the summer and fade in the winter, age spots do not fade.
Some patients will respond better than others and the number of treatments for each lesion may depend on the darkness and size of the lesion as well as the amount of laser energy used. After treatment the lesion should continue to darken and eventually slough off in 3-4 weeks. Some differences in pigmentation between the treated spot and surrounding tissue may persist after the lesion is fully or mostly removed.
How many treatment sessions are required?
This can vary depending on the size and color of the pigmented spot. Typically sun and age spots will disappear completely after 1-2 treatments although in some cases more treatments may be necessary.
Do I need to use topical anesthesia? What about gels?
No. Anesthetics and cooling gels are not needed with the LightPod lasers, because 650-microsecond technology makes it uniquely pain-free. This unique benefit saves time, cost and mess by eliminating gels and sprays required by other lasers that cool the skin during treatment.
Is it painful?
There is a mild sensation of heat that is very tolerable. A slight pinching feeling may occur when using higher energy. This is one of the key technical breakthroughs of Aerolase technology! LightPod lasers have set a new standard for virtually pain-free treatment, even on darker skin types, thanks to 650-microsecond technology. This unique benefit saves time, cost and mess by eliminating gels and sprays required by other lasers that cool the skin during treatment.
Is it permanent, or do the spots come back?
Many spots will be gone permanently, but due to the skin aging and continued sun exposure new spots will likely develop over time and more treatments will need to be performed. To slow the aging process and reduce the likeliness of new spots developing, patients should always apply sunblock when in the sun and avoid prolonged sun exposure.
Can it be used on dark skin?
Actually, LightPod lasers are the safest laser in the industry for darker skin types or tanned skin. This is because of 650-microsecond technology, which essentially eliminates treatment pain while minimizing the chances of hyper and/ or hypo-pigmentation. Patients with skin types IV-VI should be treated very cautiously, especially in the facial region, as they pose a higher risk of having hyper and/or hypo-pigmentations.
Can it be used on raised pigmented spots?
A dermatologist should first check raised pigmented spots before starting any kind of treatment. If the dermatologist clears the patient for treatment you may proceed with administering treatments.