Age spots are the most common form of age-related skin pigmentation problems. They generally appear when you’re in your 30s but become far more visible over the next 15 years. These are areas where overproduction of melanin occurs. Caused primarily by overexposure to the sun, these darkened areas can look like smooth freckles. The ideal age spots treatment is intense pulsed light therapy. A non-invasive alternative to surgical removal of age spots, IPL uses pulsed light energy to purposely damage the tissue where an abundance of melanin exists.
We understand the confusion among our clients regarding this treatment. Many believe that it’s the same thing as laser resurfacing. While the light energy used in the treatment is quite focused, the energy emitted by an IPL instrument is made up of broadband light. A wide range of frequencies are emitted, and this helps us to target specific tissue tones.
What Causes Age Spots?
Over time, areas of the skin that have become sensitive to light absorption produce more melanin. Eventually, these tissues tend to clump together to form what is known as an age spot. They’re most commonly found on the cheeks, upper arms and shoulders, and neck.
Because they exist in the dermal layer and not the epidermis, they cannot be treated using any sort of topical cream or ointment. Instead, they must be damaged via resurfacing or light energy absorption.
Performing the Age Spots Treatment
We consult with you beforehand so that we can look at the actual tone of the age spots. This allows us to design a customized age spots treatment. We will calibrate the device to deliver rapid pulses of pixilated light energy, and the combination of frequencies chosen depends on the tone of the tissue being treated.
The device is placed on the skin surface, and the lamp is flashed for a very brief period. These flashes are known as ultrapulses. The light energy penetrates through the epidermis because this layer doesn’t absorb these frequencies.
Instead, the melanin and other darker components of the cells making up the age spots absorb the light energy. These cells heat up and are partially damaged. Over time, these tissues will be discarded as waste material and will be replaced by healthier, more lightly toned skin cells.
Gradual Disappearance of Age Spots
It takes a month or more for the full effect to become noticeable. The wait is worth it, however. The skin is more evenly toned, and age spots, freckles, liver spots, or other treatable areas of hyperpigmentation are now far less visible.
If this sounds like the age spots treatment you’ve been seeking, don’t hesitate to speak with the professionals at Atomic Dermatology in Pasco, WA. You can get rid of age-related spotting without the need for surgery or skin ablation. Learn more about IPL treatments by contacting us today to schedule your consultation!