Breaking Down Skin Spots
Every person’s skin is very unique – it has its own patterns, markings, and pigmentations. Skin variances come in more types than most people realize, so the guide below can help you find out what your skin spots may be and how they got there. Many of our patients at Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center come to us because they want a smooth, even complexion that lets their personality be the first thing others notice, rather than a distracting spot on their skin, so we’ve also included some of the treatment options we can use to treat skin spots.
Age Spots and Melasma
Age spots and melasma are similar in that they both appear as slightly darker patches of skin, typically on areas that receive more sun exposure like the face, hands, shoulders, and arms. Age spots are caused by sun exposure over time, which is how they earned the nickname “age spots.” Melasma, on the other hand, is caused by a combination of exposure to the sun and the presence of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, so it is commonly seen in pregnant women, women who use contraceptive pills, and menopausal women who are using hormone replacement therapy. Both age spots and melasma are treated with laser treatments that break up the skin pigment (or melanin) to allow the body to naturally absorb and eliminate the pigments.
Freckles are simply benign spots of excess skin pigment. They can appear as spots that are only slightly darker than the natural skin tone, or they may be significantly darker and more noticeable. While freckles often become darker or more pronounced when exposed to the sun, they are the result of a genetic trait. While they cannot be prevented from forming, freckles can be treated rather easily with laser treatments that allow the pigments to be absorbed by the body.
Also called vascular lesions, hemangiomas are harmless red spots that are especially common in children and infants. They are caused by a buildup of blood vessels that can either be on the top layers of skin (appearing bright red, like the color of a strawberry), or deeper in the skin (often appearing with a more purple or blue tone). Though a direct cause of hemangiomas has not been identified, they do appear to run in families. Hemangiomas are benign and often go away on their own, but for some patients who are embarrassed about their appearance, laser treatments can be used for hemangioma removal, often with no downtime.
Birthmarks can be highly varied in appearance and type. From simple patches of excess pigment that cause darker patches of skin, to port-wine stains that are the result of swollen blood vessels and appear as pink, dark red, or purplish discoloration, birthmarks are benign and typically form before the infant is even born. At Laser Lights, we offer a variety of laser treatments to eliminate the pigments or excess blood vessels and minimize or resolve the appearance of birthmarks.
Regardless of the origin or type of skin spot you would like to remove, the first step is to visit us for a complimentary consultation so that we can accurately determine what your skin spot is and what course of treatment will be best for your particular skin. You can schedule your appointment online and, for the latest on our ever-growing list of treatments and services, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.