How a Photofacial Banishes Brown Spots and Other Skin Damage

Brown spots are a common occurrence as we get older, especially if we’ve spent a lot of time in the sun. Whether you have one or several, brown spots can make your skin — and you — look older than you want. Fortunately, brown spots can be successfully treated with an in-office light-based treatment that’s completely painless and completely noninvasive.

What causes brown spots and hyperpigmentation?

Most hyperpigmentation (areas of concentrated pigment or color) is caused by years of sun exposure. Your skin contains pigment called melanin. Normally, melanin absorbs the energy from the sun as it hits your skin, protecting your skin from damage. When you get a suntan, it’s melanin that causes the brown hue. In addition to natural sun exposure, brown spots can also occur after long-term use of tanning beds, as a result of hormonal changes and from some types of medications or medical treatments.

As you get older, the amount of sun energy your skin absorbs mounts up, causing melanin to change and begin to clump together. These clumps of melanin form sun spots, age spots and other brown spots. Not surprisingly, most brown spots occur on areas of your body that get the most sun exposure, like your face, arms, hands and upper chest.

Getting rid of brown spots

During our photofacial treatment, the pulsed light is emitted by a special handheld applicator that’s passed slowly over your skin. The light penetrates to specific depths of your skin where the pigment clumps are located. As the light is absorbed by those pigment clumps, it gently heats them up, breaking them up and stimulating healing responses so the skin looks and feels healthier and refreshed.

Once your photofacial session is complete, you’ll probably have some mild redness in the treatment area, and the skin might be a little tender as the healing process kicks in. These effects are temporary and resolve soon after your treatment. You can see results of your treatment within a few days, once any residual redness dissipates and the brown spots fade away naturally. Depending on the amount of hyperpigmentation you have, you might benefit from a series of treatments to achieve the fresh, clear results you’re looking for.

In addition to getting rid of discoloration, IPL can also get rid of tiny, red or purple spider veins and improve your overall skin tone so your skin looks clearer, fresher and rejuvenated. Plus, the intense pulses of focused light trigger natural processes inside your cells, ramping up the production of collagen to support healing and help make your skin firmer and more resilient. Since IPL treatments are completely noninvasive, there are no incisions, there’s no anesthesia and there’s no recovery time. In fact, you’ll be able to resume your regular routines right after your treatments, making it easy to fit your session into even the busiest schedule.

Treat your skin well

Your skin is an organ, just like your heart, kidneys and liver. Yet because we see it every day, we tend to take it for granted. Brown spots are an indication that your skin has been damaged, in most cases through years of sun exposure.

One of the most important things we can do to help prevent brown spots and other potential damage, including skin cancer, is to limit your sun exposure and wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more every day, even when it’s cloudy or cold outside. And because some types of skin discoloration are a sign of more serious problems like skin cancer, it’s important to have any skin changes evaluated right away by Dr. Schneider so you can get the most appropriate care.

Learn more about IPL for brown spots

Dr. Melissa Schneider, PC, is committed to helping women and men look and feel their best at every age. To learn how IPL can help you banish your brown spots for good, book an appointment online today.

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