Safe Treatments for Sun Spots

Dr. Anne Marie Tremaine Talks What Can Be Done to Address (and Prevent) Photodamage

The effects of the intense Florida sun keep me very busy at work. One of the most common complaints from my patients is the appearance of their photodamaged skin and how to correct it. My patients are looking to improve the appearance of brown spots, broken blood vessels, and dullness of the skin—all caused by exposure to ultraviolet sunlight. As a cosmetic surgeon serving Naples and Marco Island, FL, I have many tools in my toolbox to treat the appearance of sun damage. My favorite therapeutic options are laser and light treatments, which utilize heat to target removal of brown spots and broken blood vessels and stimulate collagen turnover.

One of my favorite devices, especially great for first time cosmetic patients, is Broadband Light (BBL™), often referred to as a photofacial. It is a gentle light treatment that uses visible and infrared wavelengths of light to reduce both brown discoloration and redness caused by sun damage. In just a few days, the brown spots darken and then start to slough off, revealing brighter, healthier skin. I recommend a series of treatments for optimal results, although you will see improvement after only a single treatment. In addition, regular therapeutic sessions with the BBL will stimulate collagen turnover to slow the aging process. This treatment is great for active individuals because there is so little downtime. It can be done with or without topical anesthesia, and all areas of the body can quickly and easily be treated.

If you want to kick the results up a notch, I recommend the Halo® fractional hybrid laser. This laser simultaneously delivers both ablative and non-ablative wavelengths to resurface the skin. The combination of wavelengths targets deep tissues for improvement in fine lines, wrinkles, and pores, as well as superficial layers to treat pigmentation. Because the treatment is fractional, you can expect less downtime compared to more traditional resurfacing devices. This laser offers the ability to choose the appropriate settings to skillfully customize the treatment to meet your specific dermatologic concerns and expected downtime. The Halo® does require topical anesthesia and requires more downtime than BBL, but the results are more dramatic. BBL™ and Halo® can be paired together in a powerful same-day treatment for even more impressive results with less treatment needed.

Start with a Skin Check

Before any cosmetic treatment, I do recommend having the skin examined by a dermatologist to ensure there are no pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions that need to be treated first. Treating medical concerns always trumps cosmetic treatments, and you don’t want to laser a skin cancer!

Finally, it is important to not only prepare your skin before a laser procedure, but to then follow up with a proper skin care regimen to protect your investment after. The most important step is applying SPF 30 to 50 on a daily basis. After evaluation, you may also receive recommendations for antioxidant serum, topical retinoid, and/or discoloration serum.

To learn more about treating spots and other signs of sun damage, contact Skin Wellness Physicians by calling (239) 732-0044 or sending a message online.

Dr. Anne Marie Tremaine

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