Marilyn Kwolek, MD
Dermatologist located in Danville, CA
Even if you have an excellent skin care regimen, it can be difficult to escape the effects of long-term sun exposure. Age spots, or the small, dark spots that appear on the areas of your skin that are most exposed to the sun, are a common sign of aging. Although they may seem inevitable, you don’t have to live with age spots. Board certified dermatologist Dr. Marilyn Kwolek uses advanced laser technology to reduce the appearance of age spots and restore more youthful-looking skin. From her state-of-the-art dermatology practice in Danville, California, Dr. Kwolek serves patients from the greater Contra Costa County area.
Age Spots Q & A
What are age spots?
Age spots, which are also called liver spots, sunspots, and solar lentigines, are flat, oval areas of increased skin pigmentation that may be tan, brown, or black. Age spots usually appear on areas of skin that are often exposed to sunlight. Although they’re most often seen on the backs of hands, they can also be found on the face, shoulders, upper back, or tops of the feet.
Age spots begin to develop at the cellular level when overactive pigment cells are repeatedly exposed to ultraviolet light, which causes them to increase the production of melanin. Years of sun exposure causes extra melanin to form clumps, which is what you’re seeing when age spots emerge on the surface of your skin. Because age spots are the result of years of sun exposure, they’re most commonly seen in adults older than 50.
How are age spots treated?
Laser skin revitalizing treatments are a safe and effective way to significantly diminish or completely erase the damaging effects of long-term sun exposure. Dr. Kwolek uses the state-of-the-art excel V™ laser by Cutera® to treat age spots without harming surrounding tissues.
The technology works by delivering focused light beams into the deepest layers of your skin, where they target excess pigment and break it apart into tiny particles, which are naturally absorbed by your immune system. In addition to breaking up the pigment clumps that form age spots, laser energy also stimulates collagen growth to help tighten and refresh underlying skin.
What does the treatment entail?
During the treatment, you’ll wear eye shields to protect your corneas and retinas from the laser, which emits gentle pulses as it passes over the age spots on your skin. These pulses feel somewhat like small rubber bands snapping against your skin, but the sensation is mild and usually well tolerated. Because the excel V laser has advanced contact cooling technology, it keeps the surface of your skin cool before, during, and after each pulse of energy.
The excel V can treat all skin types and a wide variety of spot sizes and colors. Most patients see the results they’re looking for after just one session. Because the treatment is non-invasive and relatively gentle, you should be able to resume your normal activities immediately.
* Individual results may vary.