If you’ve got unsightly dark spots that keep you feeling self conscious or you're tired of the freckles that keep cropping up on your face, shoulders, arms, or elsewhere, don’t worry. You have options. Here’s how laser therapy can help reduce or even eliminate pigmented spots on the skin, including freckles.
First, let’s talk about what pigmented skin spots are and where they come from. Freckles are tiny, harmless brown spots usually found on the face and arms. They differ from moles in that they’re flat, not raised, and they don’t carry any potential health threats – like melanoma or other skin cancers. Freckles often appear during or after the summer, especially among lighter-skinned people and people with blonde or red hair.
Freckles are caused by a genetic predisposition and typically exacerbated by excess exposure to the sun’s UV rays. While wearing sunscreen with SPF 50 or higher can help you to avoid further freckling, often people with freckles can’t totally avoid the appearance of more spots. Again, freckles are nothing to worry about, but they can cause some self consciousness, especially if they’re prominent on very visible places like the face.
Other pigmented spots tend to show up with both age and exposure to sunlight. Melanin is the substance that gives skin its pigment, but sometimes it can cluster together, forming a spot or patch that’s a few shades darker than the surrounding skin. Fortunately, there are some revolutionary laser therapy treatment options for freckles and other pigmented spots.
There are several very effective laser treatments for freckles and other types of melanin clusters on the skin. It’s important that you first get a full examination – and a yearly skin cancer screening – to rule out any serious issues like melanoma. But if the spots you’re concerned about are deemed to be harmless, your dermatologist can also tell you about your laser treatment options.
FDA-cleared lasers like the Vbeam® Perfecta or the Q-Switched Laser Treatment are often used in dermatology practices to treat a variety of pigment issues on the skin, as well as occasionally treating non-pigmented, non-cancerous lesions. These lasers are extremely safe with very minimal risk and a low incidence of side effects.
These lasers are also known as “non-ablative lasers,” meaning that they don't destroy any layers of skin but rather stimulate the body’s natural production of substances like collagen. Thus, skin heals quickly from these treatments. It’s important to note that a series of laser treatments is typically needed to see full results, but over time and with repetition, these lasers are very effective at providing a more even, non-pigmented skin tone.
Want to talk through your laser treatment options for the freckles or pigmented spots you’re concerned about? If you’re located in the greater New York City area, contact Vanguard Dermatology today for an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists. We can tell you which laser is right for your needs and perform treatments in our offices.