Age spots, brown spots, sun spots, liver spots and freckles are associated with premature ageing and exposure to ultra violet radiation from the sun. Generally these spots pose no health risk however, they can create a patchy, less youthful appearance.
Pigmentation of the skin occurs when patches of the skin turn darker in colour which is caused by an over production of melanin on the surface of the skin. This is most often caused by sun exposure but can also be a result of hormonal changes or post inflammation.
Light is released in short pulses that are readily absorbed by the high concentration of melanin found within pigmented lesions. The rapid absorption of light energy heats the melanin and causes the destruction of the melanin-rich cells.
The treatment works using a light applicator that is placed on the skin and a short pulse of light is released. The applicator is then moved to the neighbouring area and the process is repeated until the entire area is treated. Most people describe the discomfort as mild and tolerable and no anaesthesia is required. The treatment area may feel warm and sensitive for the first few days post treatment. The lesions may darken and may appear more obvious before they fade and ‘flake’ away.
The skin that surrounds the pigmented lesion may become red immediately after treatment. Most people experience no other side effects and the redness usually disappears within hours to a few days. The length of each treatment will depend on the type and size of lesion present, but a typical session will take 10 to 30 minutes.
Most people are suitable for treatment except for very dark skinned or tanned individuals. However, large, dark, mottled or raised pigmentation cannot be treated and may need to be checked by a dermatologist. Large, dark moles should not be treated. The pigmented marks that respond the best are superficial lesions such as those caused by sun damage (sun spots) and freckles.