Brown Spot Treatment
Even if you don’t have wrinkles or sagging skin, age-related brown spots can cause you to look prematurely aged. We offer various brown spot treatments at our London, Ontario practice, including laser skin resurfacing, pulsed light procedures, laser toning, and chemical peels. Brown spots, also called age spots or sun spots, may also be treated with anti-aging creams containing ingredients such as retinol and vitamin C, hydroquinone and non-hydroquinone-containing depigmenting agents.
Most brown spots are superficial blemishes. Removing the skin’s upper layers is the best way to treat them and can be accomplished with various procedures.
What Causes Brown Spots?
Sun exposure causes most signs of aging and brown spots are no different. Exposure to the sun increases the production of melanin, encouraging uneven pigmentation. Whether it is the sun’s UV light or tanning salons, unprotected skin is prone to age spots.
Uneven pigmentation due to hormonal changes from birth control pills or pregnancy is called melasma or “the mask of pregnancy.” Irregular pigmentation may also appear after an inflammatory rash, moderate to severe acne, chemical burn from waxing, facials, or peels, or a traumatic injury to the skin. This is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Like other aesthetic skin concerns, most brown spots are superficial blemishes. Removing the skin’s upper layers is the best way to treat them and can be accomplished with various procedures. Deeper skin pigmentation requires specialized laser systems to gently target melanin in the cells, breaking it up to be removed naturally by the body. These treatments include:
Intense Pulsed Light
The LimeLight IPL is an excellent option for treating brown spots. It is technically not a laser treatment, but uses pulses of light energy to target the pigmented cells that cause brown spots. One of the benefits of the LimeLight treatment is that it also triggers new collagen production, which helps tighten and smooth the skin.
Carbon Laser Peel
This is sometimes referred to as the “Hollywood peel” because of its popularity among celebrities. The innovative, non-ablative procedure not only minimizes brown spots, but also improves skin tone, texture, and elasticity. The results are similar to having 4 microdermabrasion treatments in a single session. The procedure begins with applying a layer of liquid carbon to the treatment area. One pass of the laser sets the carbon onto the skin. You will hear a snapping sound when the laser is fired, and feel a slight tingling or warmth as the laser removes the carbon. When we pass a laser light beam across the carbon layer, it removes dead skin cells, contaminants and oil. The laser also targets the melanin pigment in the cells, breaking it up to be removed from the body naturally.
This may be a good option for lighter-skinned patients with brown spots. We offer different types of peels to remedy brown spots. The different types vary in strength and penetrate to varying depths, removing layers of affected skin and prompting new, unaffected tissue to develop.
Recovery & Results
The recovery following treatment for brown spots varies depending on which procedure you choose. In all cases we recommend avoiding direct sunlight for at least a week and using sunscreen daily to limit future skin damage. Laser peels and IPL treatments generally produce the most noticeable results, but chemical peels can be beneficial for certain patients. You can extend your results with at-home care using medical-grade skincare products.
Women and men considering anti-aging treatments for brown spots travel to London from Chatham-Kent and Sarnia to our practice. Request a consultation using the online form to meet with Dr. Loo and her team at DermEffects. Or call us at (519) 472-8686 to schedule an appointment.