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Laser Removal of Age Spots

by
author image Andrew Sheldon
Andrew Sheldon is a writer from New York. His writing focuses on health and exercise, but he is knowledgeable in various other areas. Sheldon has published articles on and Fitday.com other online health and fitness publications. He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Laser Removal of Age Spots
A woman is receiving laser treatment on her legs. Photo Credit rusak/iStock/Getty Images

Age spots typically appear on peoples skin after years of sun exposure. While they are not harmful, you may wish to try to fade their appearance for cosmetic reasons. One treatment option is laser therapy. Lasers can be both effective and safe way to remove age spots from your skin.

Definition

Age spots, also called liver spots, are flat, dark spots that appear on your skin. They are usually gray, brown or black in color and are found on your face, shoulders, arms and hands. They are typically seen on adults over the age of 40, but can form on people of any age.

Causes

Age spots are most commonly the result of prolonged exposure to the sun. Ultraviolet light found in the sun’s rays accelerates the production of melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color. The result is a darker skin color, or tan. Over many years, the excess melanin can get “clumped” or grouped together to form age spots. Other factors can contribute to age spots, as genetics and simply growing older can cause an increase in melanin production.

Before Treatment

Age spots are not harmful to your health. However, you may choose to have them treated for cosmetic concerns. If so, first consult your doctor or dermatologist. He will examine you and discuss whether laser therapy is the best option for you.

Laser Treatment

Laser therapy uses a beam of light to help destroy the cells that create the extra pigment that causes age spots. It does so without damaging the skin. You may feel a slight stinging sensation during the procedure, but pain is usually very minimal and anesthesia is not required. Treatment usually lasts around 20 minutes, but can vary depending on the severity of your case. It may require several treatment sessions to properly remove the spots.

After Treatment

Postoperative care is usually minimal. You may experience some redness in the area, which usually does away after a few hours. You can also have swelling that can last a day or two. Neither of these conditions should be of concern. Normal daily activities can be resumed following treatment.

Risks

Risks for laser treatment are minimal. Lasers have been used for medical and dermatological procedures for many years. You may experience some reddening and swelling, which both will subside.

Results

Following your treatment, age spots will gradually fade. You final desired results should be apparent within one to two weeks after the procedure. Laser treatment is generally very effective for treating age spots and results are usually permanent. You can however, develop new spots from continuing sun exposure.

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