If you ever go out in the sun, especially in our high altitude in Utah, the UV rays affect your skin. Sun damage ages the skin universally, but the one effect most of us really don’t like is those brown spots that start turning up everywhere the sun hits. You’ve heard them called various names: age spots, sun spots, café au lait spots, freckles, solar lentigines, or just brown spots.
Regardless of their name, Dr. Jensen wants to help you get rid of them, and a snowy, inverted Utah winter is the perfect time to do so. He’ll put his Cynosure laser on the job.
What causes brown spots to form?
Brown spots are caused by excess melanin in the skin. Excess exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation causes a local proliferation of melanocytes and the accumulation of melanin within the skin cells. While sun exposure is the most common cause of brown spots, they can also be a result of simple aging of the skin. Human skin tans basically as a defense mechanism against the sun, stimulating the melanocyte cells to produce more melanin and darken the skin. Age/sun/brown spots are a microcosm of this process. They are simply deeper in the skin, so they don’t peel off in the way tanned skin eventually does.
Brown spots usually form on areas of the skin that receive the most sun: the face, neck, décolletage, back, shoulders, arms, legs, and feet.
How do lasers remove brown spots?
To remove the brown spot, the excess melanin that is giving the spot its color needs to be broken up. The most effective way to do this is through the use of laser energy. Our Cynosure laser provides pinpoint control. Dr. Jensen sets the laser wavelength to match the melanin in your brown spots. When the laser energy is directed onto the surface of the skin with the brown spots, the energy is absorbed by the melanin in those spots. The energy converts to heat at the site of the spots, causing the melanin to break apart. The body then removes the melanin and the spot disappears or dramatically lessens in appearance.
The process is similar to the laser tattoo removal we do at Dr. Jensen’s. The laser energy targets a particular color in the tattoo, breaking up the pigment. This process is repeated with the various colors in the tattoo.
How many treatments are needed to remove the spots?
Depending on the individual, laser brown spot removal can be very effective with from one to four sessions. Many of the spots will be removed in just one treatment.
January and February are great months to have Dr. Jensen zap those unsightly brown spots. Give us a call at (801) 728-9258 and then come see us at our Layton location. And leave the brown spots to the giraffes at Hogle Zoo!