Age spots are small areas of discoloration on the skin that are typically associated with years of sun damage resulting from overexposure to harmful UV rays. These areas of darker pigmentation surface after years of changing underneath the skin’s uppermost layer. Age spots are an aesthetic concern as well as a health concern. Eventually these spots can turn into actinic keratosis which is a pre-cancerous lesion. Treating age spots and actinic keratosis is important to maintain the health and beauty of the skin.
At the Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Center in Huntington, NY, we treat sun damaged skin with a type of skin laser treatment called photodynamic therapy, often referred to as PDT. PDT is a versatile treatment that uses blue light along with a special topical agent to treat sun damage and other skin blemishes.
How PDT Laser Treatment works
In PDT treatment, a photosensitizing chemical called Levulan is applied to the skin and the problem areas absorb it. The laser light is then applied to the skin to activate the Levulan, causing it to destroy sun damaged and pre-cancerous cells as well as killing bacteria and rejuvenating the skin. After a series of treatments, the skin will look visibly better with a reduction in dark spots, pre-cancerous lesions, and improvement in texture and tone.
What to expect after treatment
After PDT treatment, the skin may feel like a sunburn that lasts for several days. Patients may notice red, swollen skin that might be itchy. Starting on days three and four, there will be peeling, this is completely normal. It’s important that patients stay out of sunlight and fluorescent lighting for the first 48 hours after treatment and make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
Most patients require two to three PDT sessions to see optimal results. Results will include improvement in tone and texture, fading of sunspots and acne, softening of fine lines, and minimizing pores.
To learn more about PDT and other laser skin treatment available in our Huntington office, please call the Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Center today at (631) 417-3300.