Laser Removal of Sun and Age Spots

Laser removal of sun and age spots

Melanin is what gives our skin its colour. Dark skinned people have more melanin in their skin than light skinned people.

Pigmented lesions have an abnormal concentration of melanin in a particular area. This may be present at birth, such as brown pigmented birthmarks and Cafe-au-lait spots. Another cause is excessive sun exposure resulting in freckles and brown liver spots (lentigines).

How Do These Lasers Work?
High intensity laser light is targeted at the abnormal pigment (melanin) in these spots. This causes a tiny thermal injury to the unwanted pigment and the body’s natural healing process gradually clears it away over a number of weeks. Your eyes will be covered to protect them from the high intensity light beam.

What does the treatment involve?
The laser is focused on the area to be treated. The laser light is emitted in very short pulses resulting in a stinging sensation on the skin surface. A local anaesthetic cream may be used if requested. Treatment lasts from five to forty five minutes depending on the size of the area treated. The number of treatments varies, but usually one to two treatments are adequate. Treatment is followed by some pinkness of the skin. Over the next few days, the areas turn brown and peel off within seven to ten days. It can be covered with makeup after the first few days, if desired. The area may appear slightly pink for six weeks following treatment. Regular and careful use of sunscreens is essential if new areas of pigmentation are to be prevented.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does it work?
Darker features such as hair follicles, freckles, and veins absorb more light in the form of heat. This stops the cells from reproducing and the skin rejects the remains. simultaneously a repair process is started in lighter cells that regenerates collagen and fibroblasts, thus removing wrinkles.

What about recovery from treatment?
You can return to work and play immediately upon leaving the clinic or salon. You should keep water off the treated area for a day, as the skin will easily absorb it and may swell. You may experience a slight sunburn reaction. You must use 30 SPF sunscreen on the area for 3 weeks.

How long is a treatment session?
This depends on the size of area being treated but to control therapist fatigue, sessions are usually limited to one hour.

How long until I will see results?
Results are sometimes immediate but usually take at least 3 days to be visible. Full effect is achieved in three weeks, by which time the skin has ejected or absorbed the target feature.

Is one treatment enough?
Sometimes a feature will be removed in one session, but more commonly 3 sessions are required to fully remove a feature, and sometimes up to 5 sessions can be required.

Does it hurt?
Some patients experience a snap like a rubber band against the skin when the PTL system flashes. This discomfort is mild and dissipates immediately.

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL Treatment)
The Pulsed Light Therapy (PLT) machine (sometimes called an Intense Pulse Light (IPL) machine) is a treatment system that is used to treat minor imperfections of the skin and can also reduce the presence of unwanted hair. Primary indications include:

  • Removal of hair
  • Removal of wrinkles (rhytids)
  • Treatment of acne
  • Removal of redness (erythema)
  • Removal of freckles
  • Removal of sun-spots
  • Removal of melasma (chloasma)
  • Removal of telangiectasis (tiny red veins)
  • Removal of discolouration in acne scars

The PLT system has a number of advantages over previous treatment approaches. Adjacent epidural skin remains unaffected by treatment, and the patient can return to work and full life-style immediately as long as certain basic post-treatment guidelines such as sunscreen are followed. Permanent results can be achieved in 1 to 5 treatments. Full control of treatment parameters assures gradual scaling of treatment intensity to match the comfort level of the patient whilst minimizing the number of repetitions.

If you would like more information about this treatment, please call the clinic on 02 9477 1661 and make an appointment.