Sun spots or “age” spots (also called “liver spots” or “lentigines”) are caused by a combination of aging and sun exposure. Melanin naturally occurs in the top layer of your skin. Repeated sun exposure, even with daily sunscreen use, can increase the melanin in your skin and cause sun spots which can ruin your complexion. The melanin that is produced keeps us from burning but also makes the skin darker in various places. Sun spots, melasma, and pigmentation, are some of the most common reasons that patients come to our NYC office for treatment and sun spot removal.
Sun spots are often mistaken for various other skin conditions such as Tinea Versicolor or moles which are flat which have changed in color. If you notice a new or changing dark spot, it is always important to come in to see Dr. Green to have a full skin examination.
How do sun spots accumulate and contribute to aging?
In childhood, repeated sun exposure leads to freckles in sun exposed areas. Over time, as we age and are exposed to more sun, these freckles tend to coalesce and get darker and larger and result in larger sun spots. These sun spots get darker and deeper over time on your face, chest, neck, back, legs, and hands. In fact, sun spots on the hands are one of the first visible signs of aging.
How do I have sun spots removed?
Dr. Michele Green has all of the most advanced cutting edge lasers to remove sun spots and pigmentation including the Candela Alex-trivantage, Q-switched laser, the Fraxel Dual laser, Clear & Brilliant, and the Sciton IPL laser/Broad Band Laser. In addition, for melasma and darker skin patients we offer Cosmelan treatments as well as chemical peels with Dr. Green’s specialized MGSKINLABS products to lighten and treat pigmentation and sun damage.
using the Candela Alex-Trivantage laser.
How does the Alex-Trivantage laser work for sun spots?
Prior to having your age spots or sun spots treated, you should avoid sun exposure and should not have a recent tan or sun burn. You would come in 30 minutes early to the office before the procedure and we would apply a topical numbing cream. The sensation of the laser treatment is similar to snapping a rubber band against your skin but the procedure will be painless with the topical numbing cream. A small scab will develop in each sun spot that was treated and will take approximately one week to heal. During this week you will apply Aquaphor to the treated areas and avoid sun exposure. We ask that you do not wear make-up in the areas treated for one week after receiving the treatment. The sunspots will disappear and you will be left with new healthy looking skin.
The benefits of the Alex-Trivantage laser include
• Removes sun spots and age spots
• Removes tattoos
• Stimulates new collagen production to improve skin tone
• Requires only one or two treatments
Chemical Peels for Sun Spots
Chemical peels are also an option that can be used to improve the skin tone and issues with sun spots. The topical solution causes your surface layer of skin cells to peel off, in turn allowing new skin to regenerate. Dr. Green recommends this for more lighter skin complexions, and there are three main types of peels, known as superficial peels, medium depth peels, and the deep peel.
Depending on the severity of your sun damage, Dr. Green will determine what peel treatment is best suited to you.
Clear + Brilliant laser treatment for Sun Spots
The Clear + Brilliant Laser treatment can help reduce sun damage, fine lines, and sun spots with little or no down time. The procedure is similar to Fraxel in some ways, and is in fact sometimes referred to as the “mini-fraxel.”
While it is generally recommended for lighter skin complexions, an average of 5-6 sessions will be required in order to reduce sun damage.
Additional options for treating sun spots and sun damage
For extensive areas of Sun Damage and Brown Spots we recommend a consultation for the Fraxel® Laser and skin care creams designed by Dr. Green for your skin. Fractionated laser skin resurfacing such as Fraxel may be better for you if you want to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and tighten the skin at the same time that you are removing your sun spots. It generally takes 2 to 3 treatments with Fraxel but it can easily be done during a lunch time break and is highly effective with the added benefit of wrinkle reduction.
Before / After Photo: Fraxel 1927 used for skin pigmentation on face.
What is the cost of Age and Sun Spot Removal in New York City?
The price of the procedure depends on the laser needed and the extent of the sun spot removal which varies for each person depending on the extent of treatment necessary.
Am I a Candidate for Sun Spot Removal?
A formal consultation with Dr. Green is needed to see if you are a candidate for sun spot removal with the laser. If you have fair skin then you are likely to be a candidate for this procedure. Dr. Green treats many Asian patients with sun spots with the Alex-Trivantage since it has a special wave length designed for Asian patients. Darker skin types are usually best treated with chemical peels over lasers. If you are suffering from Melasma, Dr. Green will evaluate you to see if lasers, peels, or Cosmelan may be the best treatment for you.
In addition to that, Dr. Green has treated male and female patients for sun spot removal, both in the New York City area, as well as international patients. Sun spots anywhere on the body can be treated including but not limited to the face, neck, décolletage, hands, arms, legs, and back.
*Disclaimer: Results may vary with each patient.
Dr. Michele Green personally performs all laser treatments in her NYC based office. These lasers will rejuvenate your skin and treat all pigmented areas of sun damage, freckles, birthmarks, on the face or any area of the body. Find out more and call us at 212 535 3088 or contact us online today.