Vanquish Red and Brown Spots with Some Azul Laser Love

Every time there is a snowstorm up north, I thank the heavens that I live in Florida. Sure, snow can look pretty, but it’s freezing! No, I’ll take the beautiful sunshine and warm weather here any day. Not that there aren’t a few drawbacks to non-stop sun exposure…

Although we tend to associate them with age, you can suffer from age spots no matter how old you are. These are small, red and brown patches of pigmentation under the skin that form due to UVradiation from sun exposure. Also called sun spots, or solar lentigines, they occur most often on the hands, chest and face (where the skin is thinnest).

The sun can cause a multitude of other skin conditions as well. Sun damage can lead to an uneven skin tone, with places on your skin appearing darker or redder than the rest. The sun can inflame rosacea, and even cause dilated or broken capillaries to become visible under the skin. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that the importance of using excellent sun protection can’t be overstated!

But what if it’s already happened, and you’ve developed brown or red spots on your skin? No problem at all. At Azul, we have you covered, with a number of different non-surgical cosmetic procedures. Some of these involve lasers, but there is one type of light-based treatment that is mild, doesn’t cause much skin irritation, and, best of all, can reduce your brown and red sun spots by upward of 80% to 90%! It’s called Intense Pulsed Light therapy, or IPL.

Lasers! Pew, Pew!
Although it is often referred to as a laser treatment, IPL doesn’t actually involve lasers. Ablative lasers like those used in CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing literally remove the top layer of the skin (along with any pigmentation issues) completely. Although very effective, this takes a recovery period as the top layer of your skin heals. Even non-ablative fractional lasers like those used in Fraxel® Laser Skin Rejuvenation will require at least a few days’ worth of recovery. That isn’t at all the case with IPL.

Intense pulsed light uses powerful bursts of light energy to break down and remove the unwanted discolorations under the skin. It’s completely noninvasive, and far gentler than the true laser treatments. After the intense light is passed through a color filter, the pigmentation under the skin absorbs the light, heats up, and is destroyed. This process is known as “target-specific photothermolysis.” As for your potential comfort level, with IPL, most people don’t find it at all painful. It feels a bit like a rubber band snapping against the skin.

The best thing about IPL is that there is no recovery time. At absolute worst, you might (somewhat ironically) feel like you have a mild sunburn. As your skin could be very sensitive after treatment, so you will want to keep out of the sun as much as possible, and use extra-strong sun protection for a few days. You won’t see your results immediately after treatment, as it takes time for your body to rid the damaged pigment. In fact, your sun spots will actually get darker temporarily for a few days after the procedure. But after that, they will work their way to the surface and flake off completely. It can take a few IPL treatments to get your optimal results, done at four-week intervals. That said, many of our patients are thrilled with their results after just one treatment! Additionally, after getting your clear skin, many patients find that a once a year maintenance treatment is ideal to keep the reds and browns away!

Here at Azul, we believe in showing our patients the finest in laser love. With intense pulsed light, we can offer them a milder alternative to the more aggressive, true laser treatments like CO2 lasers or Fraxel. That said, IPL might be a little too mild for you. No problem at all, there are other non-surgical procedures that can help minimize sunspots and other skin discolorations. If you’d like to book a free consultation with Dr. Flaharty or one of his laser specialists to determine your best course of treatment, you can call us at (239) 415-7576, or visit our website at for more information. In science fiction, lasers were always thought to be the future, so I guess the future is now here at Azul!

Posted in: Procedures

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