Age Spots and Sun Damage Treatment
How Does Skin Age?
The visible signs of aging cannot be fully avoided, but can be dramatically minimized. The key is to do it as gently as possible. As far as the skin is concerned there are two types of aging — intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging involves the inevitable; as we grow older, our skin naturally becomes thinner and drier. Diminished amounts of collagen makes the skin less elastic. What used to bounce back begins to sag. Static, deep wrinkles may begin appearing. The rate of these events is genetically determined for each person; the process first becomes noticeable between the ages of 30 and 35.
Extrinsic aging results from exposure to the environment. Extrinsic aging is the critical element in determining who looks older or younger than their biological age. Exposure to sunlight is a key contributor to extrinsic aging. Photoaging occurs when elastin and a collagen breakdown are not replaced, causing fine lines and wrinkles to intensify. Photoaging also causes pigment changes with development of age spots (sun-induced freckles) and uneven skin tone. Spider veins and dilated capillaries are another sign of photoaged skin.
Lifestyle choices also have an impact on extrinsic aging. Cigarette smoking contributes to the breakdown of elastin and collagen and impairs the body's healing capacity.
The simplest way to see the contrast between intrinsic and extrinsic aging is to compare skin commonly exposed to the sun (face, hands, and neck) and skin not exposed to the sun (usually on the breasts, inner arms or buttocks).
- Addresses skin conditions that are most visible
- Treats the entire face, not only small spots
- Causes little discomfort
- Offers an immediate return to routine activities
- Provides gradual, natural-looking improvement
- Produces long-lasting results
Photorejuvenation with IPL is the most versatile of all treatment options. IPL can treat numerous skin conditions at once. It is effective on red blemishes that originate from blood vessels, as well as brown pigment blemishes in the form of freckles, age spots and other sun damage. IPL also treats the neck, chest and hands, where sun damage is often most visible.
Dr. Thao will determine an IPL treatment plan for you, accounting for the number and severity of skin conditions being treated, as well as skin type. On average, four to six treatments are recommended, scheduled at three-week intervals. Each session usually lasts about 20 minutes, with you returning to normal activity immediately afterwards, in fact, you can often schedule your IPL treatments over the lunch hour. IPL treatments provide gradual, natural improvement with excellent long-term results.
What to Expect
Before treatment, a cold gel is usually applied to the areas to be treated and patients wear protective eyewear. During treatment, Dr. Thao or a trained staff member gently applies the smooth, crystalline surface of the IPL handpiece to the skin. Light is delivered to the skin surface in precise pulses that are typically pain-free. Occasionally some signs of treatment, such as redness, can last for one or two hours. In most cases, the entire face is treated, but the therapy can also work well on the neck, chest and hands. Results from a full series of treatments usually last for a year or more.
Your Consultation - Age Spots & Sun Damaged Skin
An initial consultation is required for all laser and IPL procedures. We invite you to schedule a private consultation with Dr. David Thao, one of Minnesota's top board certified plastic surgeon, to explore your Laser and IPL treatment options. During the consultation all aspects of your proposed treatment will be discussed including preparation, relative risks, recovery, range of fees, and financing options. Woodbury Plastic Surgery in Minnesota is committed to caring for the whole person by educating, nurturing and comforting our patients in a safe, professional environment.