While many people refer to sun spots and age spots as two different conditions, they're actually the same thing! Sun / age spots are a common type of hyperpigmentation that look like flat, dark areas of skin. Most people note that their sun / age spots look circular, but some may be irregular in shape and differ in size. It is essential to work with an expert like Dr. Schultz to determine that sun / age spots aren't signs of a more dangerous condition, like skin cancer, before removing them.
Similar to other types of hyperpigmentation, sun exposure tends to speed up the development of sun and age spots. UV exposure causes your skin to produce more melanin, which gives sun and age their dark color. Over time, melanin production can become concentrated so, instead of an even tan across the body, sun / age spots appear. Even though many people refer to these areas of hyperpigmentation as "age" spots, people of any age can develop this condition. While it is more common for people over the age of 40 to notice more sun / age spots across their body, younger individuals with more sun exposure may develop an increased number of sun / age spots.
Laser treatments are highly-effective at removing sun and age spots without damaging the surrounding tissue. Instead of dangerous at-home treatments that can damage the skin and overlook signs of skin cancer, laser treatments can remove these spots of hyperpigmentation safely. Dermatological lasers are completely different from the lasers we see cutting through metal in the movies. Instead, these lasers are designed to use certain wavelengths that are safe for the skin. That is why Dr. Schultz can select from a number of lasers with varying wavelengths to specifically target sun and age spots. In general, lasers are broken down into two categories: ablative and nonablative lasers. Nonablative lasers use specialized wavelengths and heat to target the pigment to break apart visible concentrations of melanin. Other lasers, known as ablative lasers, work to resurface the skin to reveal even-toned skin underneath. Depending on your skin's condition, Dr. Schultz will recommend an ablative or nonablative laser so that you can achieve the results you want.
Recovering from a nonablative laser removal of sun and age spots is a straightforward process. While some patients may experience redness or mild swelling, they will not have to take time off work to recover at home. Results will begin to appear after 4-6 weeks as your body breaks down the melanin to reveal even-toned skin. If Dr. Schultz has recommended an ablative laser to remove your sun and age spots, you will be fully informed about the recovery process. For some, time off work may be required to allow your skin to heal safely. Reducing sun exposure and hydrating your skin will be important to promote clear, healthy skin free of hyperpigmentation.
As the Upper East Side and NYC's premier dermatologist, Dr. Schultz has been using the most innovative dermatological lasers for over 20 years. After a careful examination of your skin and discussion of your goals, he will create a treatment plan to remove your sun and age spots. From the comfort of our modern and clean office, you'll be able to relax as your Park Avenue Skin Care expert uses an ablative or nonablative laser to remove hyperpigmentation. Before you leave, you'll be fully informed about what to expect as your skin recovers and your sun / age spots begin to dissipate.
Prior to any laser treatment at Park Avenue Skin Care, you'll receive a thorough examination so that Dr. Schultz can assess the quality of your skin and determine which laser is right for you. After a detailed discussion of what to expect during your session, through recovery, and the results you'll see, your skin will be prepped. Most patients describe laser treatments feeling like a rubber band snapping against the skin, making it a fairly painless procedure. However, your comfort is our primary concern and Dr. Schultz will discuss numbing options with you if your pain tolerance is low. Laser treatments to remove sun / age spots typically take under 30 minutes, but this time may be longer or shorter depending on the area that is being treated. Following your procedure, you will receive full aftercare instructions to promote healthy skin that is free of hyperpigmentation.
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Make your skin care a priority with leading-dermatologist and New York Magazine’s “Top Doctor”: Dr. Neal Schultz.