Sun Damage Treatment
‘Sun damage’ refers to some of the most common brown spots on our skin, such as freckles, age spots and liver spots. These skin spots usually contain a very high concentration of melanin (pigment). Within Australia, this occurs due to exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. In addition, skin spots and blemishes can develop as part of the ageing process.
How many treatments will I require?
Your sunspots, freckles and ages spots will need to be assessed to determine the most appropriate treatment plan. Treatment plans can range from a singular treatment, through to several treatments, and the type of treatment method can vary depending on the type of sun damage we are treating.
Is the treatment Safe?
Whilst most sunspots, freckles and other sunspots are benign (non-cancerous), any pigmented lesion can develop into skin cancer. Having your skin checked by a practitioner trained in skin cancer detection is essential. We recommend having your skin checked prior to sun damage treatment. We request that you provide a copy of your skin assessment, along with a referral from your skin cancer doctor, prior to attending our clinic.
Is the treatment painful?
The treatment is often termed comfortable and tolerated well by most patients. However, you will have the option to receive a topical anaesthetic to numb the area being treated.
The aesthetic results can vary, depending on the individualised treatment plan. In some cases, the removal of your sunspots, age spots, freckles and other skin blemishes will be noticeable immediately following your first treatment. However, you may require a less invasive treatment approach, whereby several treatments will be required to reduce you sun damaged skin.
Even though you have had your freckles, age spots and sunspots assessed as being benign (cancer free) by your skin cancer practitioner, there is still a risk of skin cancer being present within your pigmented lesions, at the time of treatment.
The laser ablates (burns) away freckles, age spots and sunspots, meaning that nothing is available to be sent away for pathology for further testing, so you need to be aware that pathology testing is not possible with this treatment.
Although the potential risks are extremely uncommon, one or more of the following may occur:
- Lightening or darkening of the skin in the treated areas – (Hypopigmentation or Hyperpigmentation)
- Skin crusting or blistering
- Scarring – which includes Hypertrophic or Keloid Scarring
As part of your post-treatment care plan, you will be provided with verbal and written post-treatment instructions.
Following your laser treatment, the skin can vary in appearance. For example, for non-invasive treatment, you may experience light pink skin that will persist for half an hour or so. In the case where a more invasive treatment is required, you may notice redness, bleeding, bruising, swelling and weeping at the site of treatment, which can last for several days to weeks.
It is normal for the treated area to feel a little sore and tender, for a few days post treatment. You will keep the treated area dry and intact following your treatment. We will provide you with a topical cream to be used 3-4 times a day to the treated area, until the area has healed.
- Please refrain from getting the treated area wet until scab has fully fallen-off the treated area.
- Avoid exposing the treated area to the sun for a minimum of 4 weeks following treatment.
- Do not pick as scabbing can lead to scarring.
- Makeup can be used over the treatment area so long as there is no extended redness, blistering or scabbing (mineral make-up is the best option).
- Avoid skin irritants such as hydroquinone, bleaching creams, tretinoin, retinol creams, benzoyl peroxide, chemical peels, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid for at least 2 weeks after the procedure.
- Avoid any rubbing or friction movements on the treated area for three days post treatment.
You will be requested to send an image of the treated area(s) 4 days post treatment via email.
Our clinic can be contacted contact on 1300 373 662 if you experience any inflammatory reaction and/or side effect. If necessary, additional treatments, medications and/or surgery may be necessary. If out of hours, please attend your local medical centre or emergency department.
We will arrange a follow-up appointment for six weeks post-treatment at our clinic. If at any time you have questions or concerns, you should contact our clinic to arrange a face-to-face appointment.
If required, you will be provided with topical cream, designed to be used post skin injury, that will provide nutrients to accelerate the skin healing process. In addition, we also offer Ligh Emitting Diode Treatment (LED) to accelerate the healing process.