Treating Age Spots
An age spot is a benign pigmented skin condition that occurs in middle-aged to older people. Other names are ‘lentigo senilis’, ‘lentigo solaris’ or ‘liver spot’. A light skin type (people who tan with difficulty) and a lot of exposure to sunlight in the past give an increased risk.
What causes it?
There is a clear link between the development of age spots and the amount of sun exposure the person has had during their life. An age spot is a sign that the skin has often had to protect itself against (harmful) UV rays. It is therefore an expression of skin aging. We also find age spots in people who have been treated with PUVA therapy for a long time because of a skin disease (such as psoriasis or vitiligo) and in fanatic sunbed users. An age spot does not lighten by itself due to the absence of the sun. It is also visible in the winter months.
What are the symptoms?
On skin parts exposed to the sun, especially the face, we see a typical even brown pigmented, oval or irregularly delimited flat pigment spot of a few millimeters to a few centimeters in size. Often we see one or two spots. This can spread to dozens of spots on the backs of the hands, arms and décolleté.
At U-Clinic Cosmedilight, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is used to treat the age spot. The dark dye (melanin) in the skin absorbs the flash of light, destroying the cell and pulverizing the pigment. The body then clears this up on its own. After the treatment, the skin will be slightly red and it may locally swell slightly. The pigment will be darker in color, this is a good response.
Often 1 to 3 treatments with an interval of 4 weeks are needed to achieve the desired result. After the treatments, the age spot becomes lighter in color and therefore less noticeable. Not all pigment can be removed completely. The image shows the result after one treatment.
What can I pay attention to myself?
An age spot is a sign of sun damage, so it is important to take proper precautions to prevent further damage to the skin from UV rays. That is why the general sun recommendations apply here. Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every day. Lycogel is also sufficient.
Before and after the treatment
You should avoid the sun for six weeks before the treatment and two weeks after. Do not use the sunbed and do not use self-tanning creams. Use sun protection with SPF 50 when the sun is shining.
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