Age Spots & Brown Pigment Treatments

Age Spots At A Glance

  • Best Results1-3 treatments
  • Treatment Recovery0-4days
  • Procedure Time5 min
  • Skin SpecialistDermal therapist, nurse
  • Duration of ResultsYears
  • AnaestheticNumbing to sedation
  • Back to WorkImmediately
  • Cost$-$$

Age Spots & Brown Pigment Treatments

Age spots are due to both chronological ageing & sun exposure. This form of pigmentation can be resistant to normal lasers, however can be treated with special types of lasers including nano, pico & ablative laser resurfacing. The best method depends on the type of age spot & your background skin colour.

FactsFacts on Age Spots & Pigment Treatment

  • The most common age spots is called a flat senile wart or macular Seb Keratosis
  • Other types of spots include solar lentigo spots
  • Some forms of age spots including pigmented solar keratosis are precancerous
  • Lentigo maligna melanoma can mimic ages spots
  • Other common cause of pigmentation include regressing lentigo or lichenoid keratosis
  • The ideal treatment depends on the diagnosis

Why is diagnosis of age spots vital before attempting treatments?

Age Spots & Brown Pigment Treatments

Knowing the level of pigmentation is essential to giving predictable results. Some forms of pigmentation are superficial, freckles are examples of surface pigmentation. Some types of age spots are deeper, whilst others maybe cancerous. Diagnosis before treatment not only improves outcomes, but increases safety margins.

What are effective ways of reducing or removing age spots?

Lasers are the most effective methods of removing age spots. Superficial spots are removed with Fraxel or Fractional Lasers, deeper spots are removed with erbium or CO2 lasers.

In ethnic/Asian skin I use Pico lasers, often in combination with fractional laser resurfacing.

Chemical peels including Jessner or Jessner TCA can also remove stubborn age spots. In lighter skin patients I also use BBL or IPL.

How many treatments will I require?

One to three sessions, depending on the diagnosis & your ethnicity. In lighter skin patients, one to two laser sessions will remove the vast majority of spots. For darker skin patients 2 to 3 sessions maybe required.

Note, melasma pigmentation is different from age spots. This special form of pigmentation must be treated gradually, or pigment flare ups are possible.

How long will it take to recover from laser treatment?

This depends on the type of laser we employ as well as laser settings. As a guide-

  • Nano Q switch Spectra Dermal toning: No downtime
  • Pico Lasers/Picoway/Picosure: 0-1 days
  • LaseMD Ultra: 1-3 days
  • Fraxel: 3-4 days
  • Clear & Brilliant: 2-3 days
  • CO2: 2-4 days

Davin’s Viewpoint on treating Age Spots & Pigmentation

Pigmentation is one of the more difficult algorithms to treat as there are many causes. Treatment will depend on the diagnosis.

Flat seb ks. or warts, lentigo & partially regressed lichenoid keratosis are essentially spectrums of the same condition (in the context of clinical treatment, not histology). They can be resistant to ‘normal’ low downtime no downtime procedures. This form of pigmentation will respond to Q switch lasers, de-focused CO2 & pico. 1-2 sessions.

The caveat of all pigment is the lentigo maligna melanoma. This form of pigmentation can mimic many types of pigment. If in doubt you GP or dermatologist a take a biopsy, before referring you for treatment.

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