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What Are Age Spots and What Do I Do If I Have Them?

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Usually, adults start to see these spots appear over time, or after prolonged sun exposure. There is a solution to removing them, however.

You have probably heard the term or perhaps even looking at your own skin and wondering if the spots you are seeing are indeed age spots. 

Let’s start off by defining age spots. 

According to Mayo Clinic, age spots are “small, flat dark areas on the skin”.  The size of the spots can actually vary. They tend to appear with prolonged exposure to the sun and mainly are seen on:

  • Face
  • Hands
  • Shoulders
  • Arms

Other common names for age spots include sun spots, brown spots, liver spots or solar lentigines. 

Age spots tend to show up after the age of 50, however, younger people can get them too. 

What Causes Age Spots?

Generally, a brown spot is a focal area of either a higher number of pigment cells (called “melanocytes”) or an increased number of pigment molecules (called “melanin”). Melanin is located within the melanocyte. Excess melanin sits on the top layer of the skin, or epidermis. Whereas, some excess melanin is deeper, in the dermis. 

Age spots can be really due to a range of skin issues; different types of increased pigmentation require different lightening treatments.

If I have Age Spots, Can They Be Removed?

The short answer, yes. 

At Magic Laser and Aesthetics, we are using a long-pulsed laser light delivery that closely matches the Thermal Relaxation Time (TRT) of melanocytes. Heating of the melanocytes in benign pigmented lesions can cause thermal damage sufficient enough to remove these types of lesions.

We use the GentleMAX Pro, by Syneron Candela. By using its 755nm wavelength, we can use the laser to treat the following benign epidermal pigmented lesions: Mottled or hyperpigmentation, Lentigines, Ephelides (freckles), Epidermal melisma, Café au lait. 

Treatment times vary, but generally are quick. Clients may feel a little discomfort and/or some bruising. During the treatment, clients often hear a snapping sound, the darker the lesion, the louder the “snap”. This is the laser hitting the melanocytes. It is also common to see a “frosting” effect on the lesion (the lesion will darken within 5 – 10 minutes after treatment and may remain so until the lesions form a micro-crust).

Your laser technician will be able to discuss proper aftercare, and how long after you can expect your skin to return to its normal colour over time. 

Have any more questions about sunspots or age spots?

Please contact us directly.  Or click here to book a consultation


Magic Laser & Aesthetics is the winner for “Aesthetics Clinic of the Year” category at the Ontario Hair and Beauty Awards for 2019, and the diamond winner of “Toronto Star – Readers’ Choice 2019”. Thank you so much for our amazing and lovely clients’ support and trust! We will continue to do our best to serve you at this standard always.

 

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