Meet Our Advertisers: Dr. Allan Zacher
Eliminate or reduce age spots with laser therapy AND treat acne!
Age spots, liver spots, “sun kisses” – all are medically termed ‘solar lentigines.’ Age spots on the face can be distressing and are frequently covered with makeup. These seemingly permanent blemishes can be reduced or sometimes eliminated, leaving the skin much younger appearing, wherever they appear on the body.Brown spots in the skin are clusters of melanin formed by special skin cells called melanocytes. The overproduction of melanin is a response to sun or ultraviolet light. These cells live on the bottom of our top layer of skin. Melanocytes are reduced over decades so they are not smoothly distributed in the skin as we age, leaving concentrated “spots.” They are more prevalent in older people because the remaining patches of melanocytes have to ‘work harder to produce melanin that protects the skin.
As with so many things medical and cosmetic, prevention is first-line therapy. We all remember when tanning or ‘laying out’ was a thing. EVERYbody did it; a suntan was considered healthy: the redness on the cheeks, a healthy glow! What we did not know in the 70s and most of the 80s was that sun exposure damages collagen and the DNA of the skin, leading to increased risk of skin cancers, including the lethal melanoma.
How dangerous is sun exposure? Research suggests that a single sunburn increases the risk of melanoma about 300 fold. This could give anyone my age (63) cause for concern because ‘in the old days,’ sunburn was a common result of trying to achieve that healthy glow! Besides the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers, sun damages the collagen, leaving the surface of the skin lax and “crepey” like crepe paper. Collagen damage due to normal aging significantly accelerated by sun can lead to wrinkles, lax skin, and creases. Much of this can be addressed with non-surgical medical treatments.If you observe people who have worked inside all their lives, with little sun exposure, or people who caught on early that too much sun is “bad” and compare to a person the same age who was a sun-worshiper or tanning bed aficionado, you will see the difference. The person with extensive sun/tanning exposure can look 10 years older!
Cosmetically, sun exposure—other than a brief time per day—is one of the worst things you can do to age the skin. What can be done to reverse age spots? At Mountain Radiance Medical Spa, we first use a laser therapy called FotoFacial™, one brand of “IPL” – intense pulsed light. It seems ironic that sun damage is reversed by a light/laser therapy, but it works.This amazing treatment uses intense light that damages melanocytes. Following treatment of the pigmented lesions (age spots) with FotoFacial™, the areas will temporarily darken for three to four days as the melanocytes are killed, then begin extruding the pigment out of the skin, which will appear and feel a bit like coffee grounds. This is a normal process of the body getting rid of these damaged cells. By 7 to 14 days this process will be complete.
We can frequently eliminate age spots completely and can always fade them. To eliminate them usually takes at least two treatments and follow-up with skin care products with hydroquinone, an agent that lightens and brightens the skin.
IPL (FotoFacial™) is also used to eliminate fine veins on the face, for instance around the nose that seems to be prominent in some men. I have shown here an example of ‘age spots’ on the face as an example of what we can achieve.
This technology can also significantly help acne as well.