Pigment and age spots
Sunlight, solarium use and nicotine as well as the natural ageing process and hormones can cause our skin to become discoloured.
Hormone-related discolouration of the face which is intensified by UV light is known as melasma or chloasma. Unlike with age spots, it appears that in this case a switch is thrown in the skin that continually cranks up the production of melanin, the brown skin pigment. Treatment is protracted but not impossible. Success can be achieved using laser treatments in combination with low doses of hydroquinone, a melanin inhibitor. Another state-of-the-art treatment blocks an enzyme (tyrosinase) that is substantially responsible for the formation of the brown skin pigment. This treatment produces excellent results, but must be repeated after 6 to 12 months as appropriate. The key element of every melasma treatment is consistent sun protection.
Brown and red age spots on the face can be removed very easily using intense pulsed light or a ruby laser. Depending on the method used, afterwards scabs may form for a few days. To maintain good results, sun block must be applied regularly. A pleasing side-effect, especially of the intense pulsed light, is a toning of the connective tissue so that the skin often appears smoother and firmer after treatment for age spots.
We often forget about the signs of old age on the backs of our hands. These pigment spots can also be removed using a ruby laser.