Age spots (or liver spots) and sun spots are flat and oval blemishes that vary in size and are usually brown, grey or black. Age spots and sun spots are completely harmless and don’t require medical treatment.
The primary cause of age and sun spots is prolonged sun exposure and therefore age spots on the face and on other exposed areas, such as the hands, shoulders and arms, are very common.
The spots are formed when the skin, in an effort to protect itself from excessive levels of ultraviolet sunlight, produces a dark brown pigment known as melanin. When melanin production is even, the skin has a tanned look, whereas when it is uneven, it results in a concentration of pigment in certain areas, which causes spotting. Moreover, after the age of 40, the skin is less able to heal from sun damage and sometimes aging itself results in melanin cluster production.
Sun lovers who are overexposed to ultraviolet (UVA) light and have sun damaged skin may develop Age and Sun Spots. Age Spots on the hands and on other exposed skin areas usually appear in adults over the age of 40, but can be found in younger individuals as well. Some people have a genetic predisposition to spotting. Individuals with a fair complexion are more prone, but darker people also have Age Spots.
Our intense pulsed light (IPL) photorejuvenation treatment uses laser light to selectively destroy pigmentation within the skin which is responsible for age, liver, brown and sun spots. It is suitable for use on all areas such as the face, neck, chest and hands.
Treatment with IPL Skin Rejuvenation can take anywhere from 15 minutes but will depend on the number of areas being treated. Generally a course of 2-3 treatments are required scheduled at 3-4 weekly intervals. To maintain results you may need a couple of top up sessions per year.
Hydroquinone has long been considered the gold standard for reversing pigmentation. It works by disrupting the function of melanocytes, therefore prohibiting the production of melanin. Products sold over-the-counter can only contain up to 2% hydroquinone, while physician dispensed treatments are usually more potent.
To keep skin bright and even toned, Dr. Zein Obagi of ZO Skin Health has developed 3 key products designed to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
Melamix™ Skin Lightener & Blending Crème with 4% hydroquinone gradually bleaches discoloration by inhibiting melanin production.
Melamin™ Skin Bleaching & Correcting Crème with 4% hydroquinone, works in a similar manner to reduce hyperpigmentation.
Brightenex™ Skin Brightener & Correcting Crème Non-Hydroquinone does not contain hydroquinone but has 1% retinol.
NOTE: With any skin lightening or brightening therapy, you must use daily SPF30 to protect your skin.