What are Age Spots?
A brown age spot is known medically as a lentigo. They are due to excess pigment, or melanin, in the skin. You may be born with them, or they may result from sun damage or aging. They can occur anywhere, but the more unsightly ones usually appear on the face, the back of the hands, the arms, the legs or the chest. (A lentigo should not be confused with a mole, or nevus. Your physician can differentiate between these two lesions.) A number of techniques have been used to lighten or remove age spots. These include bleaching creams, topical acids, chemical peels, freezing and surgery. However, each of these age spot removal techniques has its problems and limitations.
Age Spot Removal Using Laser Treatments
A newer, more effective treatment for age spot removal involves using Laser technology. A laser emits a specific wavelength of light that is absorbed by the melanin, or brown pigment, within the age spot. The energy contained in the laser beam destroys the brown pigment, resulting in the elimination of the age spot. Since the normal skin does not absorb the laser light, there is minimal effect on the skin itself. A number of age spots can be done in one visit. Afterwards, normal activity can be resumed. Discomfort is minimal, and healing is rapid. The results are quite good, and there are very few complications or risks associated with this procedure. Below are some before and after photos of patients who have had age spots removed using laser: