Removal of Age Spots, Acne Scars, and Facial Moles

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Removal of Age Spots, Acne Scars, and Facial Moles

Sun spots, age spots, acne scars, and facial moles all appear on the skin as uneven pigmented areas. Sun exposure can lead to cellular damage, discoloration, and premature aging. Some facial moles are benign, but with repeated exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays, they can change into precancerous lesions. Here are some procedures used for removal of age spots, acne scars, and facial moles.

Broad Band Light Treatment

Broad band light (BBL) is used to remove age spots, red discoloration, and fine veins. The machine uses concentrated pulses of light to even out skin tone and reduce tiny broken blood vessels and other imperfections. This technology targets the red and brown pigments in the skin. While many people achieve desired results after only one treatment session, some people require 24 sessions for full benefit.

With broad band light treatment, you will be at the office for around an hour. The procedure feels like a warm rubber band that snaps against the skin. A cooling devices blows cold air over the area to make the skin more comfortable. There is no downtime after the BBL treatment, but expect to look and feel like you have a sunburn for 2-3 days.

Intense Pulse Light (IPL)

Intense pulsed light treatments, also called photofacials, are an effective means of targeting pigmented cells and acne scars. During a session of IPL, short, pulses of intense light are emitted from an applicator to the affected skin. The waves destroy the red and brown color to the scars.

The IPL treatment takes around 15 minutes and is relatively painless. After thoroughly cleansing the skin, the doctor applies a gel to the treatment area. The hand-held device is moved over the skin. Expect a little redness after the procedure, but you can return to usual activities immediately.

Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing is used to remove the top layer of skin. Unlike chemicals or sharp tools, the removal process involves applying high-powered laser beams to the skin’s surface. Carbon dioxide laser is most effective for removal of acne scars.

Before the procedure, the plastic surgeon will apply a local numbing cream to your face. After around 20 minutes, the cream is removed, and the doctor moves the laser beam across your targeted skin surface. Afterwards, a soothing ointment and bandages are applied. Expect to be off from work for 3-5 days for recovery.

Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is an excellent procedure for removing acne scars and age spots. This procedure involves sanding away the top layers of the skin, leaving reddened open skin. The procedure stimulates collagen production and re-freshes the skin. Fine lines and wrinkles also can be removed with this procedure.

Depending on the severity of your skin condition, the procedure can be done with you sedated or by using a topical anesthetic. After you receiving the medication, the surgeon uses a hand-held wheel to gently sand away the top skin layers. Afterwards, a soothing cream and bandages are applied to the treated area. Your face will be sore and red for around 3-4 days, and downtime is approximately 10 days at the most.

Cryotherapy

Using liquid nitrogen, the plastic surgeon can freeze skin moles. With this procedure, the doctor simply applies the cryo liquid to the lesion using a sponge-tipped device. After applying liquid nitrogen to the mole, the skin cells die and are absorbed by the body. With this procedure, you may end up with a small white scar where the skin lesion used to be.

Please note that for facial moles that are suspicious of cancer, the plastic surgeon may recommend a biopsy before cryotherapy. In addition, some facial moles must be excised, as they are too big or complicated for cryotherapy.

Resources

Werschler WP, Herdener RS, Ross, VE, & Zimmerman E (2015). Treating Acne Scars: What’s New? J Clin Aesthet Dermatol, 8(8), 2-8.

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