Dark Spots, Brown Spots, Sun Spots, Age Spots, and Freckles
Sun spots, age spots, and “liver” spots are brown or dark spots that can appear on areas of skin that are often exposed to the sun, such as the face, chest, hands, arms and legs.
Brown spots can occur at any age and in individuals of all skin types, but individuals with light skin are most susceptible.
Patients often note that their lesions get darker during the summer and lighter during the winter. In contrast to freckles, brown spots are equally visible all year round.
TREATMENT: Examining your skin will determine the cause of your brown spots. Intense pulsed light treatments can safely remove brown spots by selectively targeting the brown pigment.
Light energy delivered in a series of pulses breaks down the dark pigment in the skin, causing it to disperse and eventually clear.*
TREATMENT PLAN:Brown spots often need three to five treatment sessions to maximize results, although sometimes one treatment will show significant results.*
Treatment sessions are usually spaced three to four weeks apart and cannot be within three weeks of sun exposure.
GENERAL TREATMENT EXPECTATIONS
Some patients may not be ideal candidates: Do you have a suntan or any of the following medical conditions?
- Clotting disorder
- Tendency to develop keloids
- History of abnormal response to sunlight
- Medication that is light sensitive
- Infectious disease
- Connective tissue disease
- Immunocompromised Patients
- Prescription Accutane
- Medical condition that affects wound healing
- Patients with tan skin with certain treatments
- History of skin cancer
Anyone with sun exposure for the past three weeks can receive laser treatments, but should not receive light treatments. If you have any of the conditions listed above, be sure to tell your doctor because these conditions may increase your risk of developing an infection or may create problems with wound healing. We do not recommend laser and light treatments during pregnancy as the effects are unknown. Not a cure: While some patients experience dramatic results which can be long-lasting, neither laser nor light therapy can be guaranteed. To maintain results, additional laser or light treatment may be needed at a later time.*
Realistic expectations are essential: Most patients do see improvement; however, with any medical procedure, there is always the possibility that you will only see a minor change or not see a response at all. Your physician can determine if you are a good candidate. To date, doctors have found that people with lighter skin who limit their sun exposure after the procedure tend to have better results.*
Success depends on several factors: Several factors — including your skin type, condition of your skin, your lifestyle, and the amount of sun exposure you get following the procedure — affect the short-term and long-term results. For example, not protecting your skin from the sun after treatment can cause a strong reaction.*
Complications: Scarring or blistering, although rare, can occur following any treatment. Hives may occur and generally subside within a few hours. Patches of dark skin or light skin are rare but may develop after treatment. Swelling and bruising may be a temporary result following any treatment.*
Not covered by insurance: Most insurance companies will not cover laser and light therapies since it is an elective cosmetic procedure. Laser therapy usually requires two to four treatment sessions to achieve the best results. Sessions are generally spaced two to four weeks apart. Intense pulsed light may require two to five sessions and are usually repeated every three weeks. With both laser and intense pulsed light, follow-up treatment may be necessary to maintain the results.*