Brown spots (also called sun spots, liver spots, age spots or freckles) are a form of hyperpigmentation caused by excessive sun exposure, hormonal changes, acne or other skin disease. All of these conditions can be effectively treated with our Palomar® StarLux IPL system.
With many patented innovations, Palomar®’s LuxG and LuxY hand-pieces can deliver optimally filtered wavelengths of pulsed light to safely and effectively clear brown spots. The specific band of light targets the melanin converting light into heat. The heat loosens the skin and the dark spot sheds away, revealing fresher, healthier skin. Clinical studies have shown that brown spots treatment with Palomar® StarLux IPL system handpieces can achieve results as good as or better than the brown spots treatment performed by single-application “gold standard” lasers, in addition to its superior comfort and no downtime.
Other treatment options may include topical anti-aging or bleaching creams, as well as chemical peels.
Types of Brown Spots, Prevention and Treatment Options
Freckles are small flat brown spots on the face and other sun exposed areas. They are an inherited characteristic mostly seen on fair skinned people. The medical term for this type of brown spot is ephilis (plural ephilides). The colour is due to pigment accumulating in the skin cells (keratinocytes). Skin pigment (melanin) is made by cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes don’t produce very much melanin during the winter months, but produce more when exposed to the sun. The melanin is diffused into the surrounding skin cells, called keratinocytes. The colour of ephilides is due to the localized accumulation of melanin in keratinocytes. Ephilides are more prominent in summer but fade considerably or disappear in winter as the keratinocytes are replaced by new cells. As the person ages this type of brown spot generally become less noticeable.
Prevention and Treatment: Apart from sun protection, no particular treatment is necessary.
Lentigines – Commonly known as age spots or liver spots, lentigines are large flat brown spots that appear on the face and hands in middle age and as a result of excessive sun exposure. These spots persist for long periods and don’t disappear in the winter (although they may fade). Lentigines are common to fair skinned people and those who tan easily.
It is important to distinguish the harmless solar lentigo from an early malignant melanoma, lentigo maligna. Any irregularly coloured or shaped dark spot should be reported to a doctor or dermatologist immediately.
Prevention: The only way to prevent age spots is to use liberal amounts of sunscreen before the age of forty, avoid the sun, and wear protective clothing. These measures will also help prevent the formation of skin cancer and wrinkles.
• Regular applications of anti-aging or fading creams. These may contain bleaching agents, such as hydroquinone or kojic acid, or antioxidants such as alpha hydroxy acids, vitamin-C, retinoids, azelaic acid.
• Lentigines can also be treated with an alpha hydroxy acid peel. This involves applying a mild acid to the skin and then allowing the skin to heal.
• Treatments with laser & pulsed light devices are generally considered to be the most effective.