What is it and what is the cause?
Resulting from sun damage, hormones or sometimes genetics, age spots (or to use one of their other names; brown spots, sun spots, liver spots or lentigos) are flat, oval patches of pigmented skin. UVA sunlight stimulates your pigment cells called, ‘melanocytes’ to manufacture this pigment called, ‘melanin’. This is not only responsible for a tan but also unwanted dark patches.
They’re completely harmless normally but as they are most prominent on the face, hands and neck many people, both men and women, choose to have them treated. Studies have shown that these patches are actually more ageing than lines and wrinkles.
Age spots usually occur in adults over 40, but younger people can also get them if they spend a lot of time in the sun or on sunbeds. Prevention is of course better than a cure! You can prevent age spots from developing by ensuring you wear SPF30 or higher when you’re outdoors, whether in the sun or not, as UVA light levels can cause damage throughout the year.
A consultation includes a skin scan with one of our Specialists, which looks 2mm under the skin. They can assess the age spots/pigmentation and decide the best course of treatment to help you. Treatment choices include:
IPL/Laser – Both of these treatments use light which turns to heat and breaks up the pigment. It tends to go darker for several days then simply sloughs off the skin after a week or so. Often you would need 2-3 treatments (4 weeks apart) to get the best results, especially if the pigment is deep. From £50 – £150 per session ( depending on size of area being treated ) for either face, hands, décolletage or other body area such as legs.
Peels – Specific types of peel can help reduce pigmentation and usually require a few weeks of prep with special creams prior to treatment. Sometimes a course of 3-4 peels is needed. There may be a bit of redness and/or flaking with the stronger peels for a few days .