top of page

Age Spot Treatments

Age spots are due to both chronological ageing & sun exposure. This form of pigmentation can be resistant to normal lasers, however can be treated with special types of lasers including nano, pico & ablative laser resurfacing. The best method depends on the type of age spot & your background skin colour.

Fractional RF Max RF at a Glance
  • Best Results 1-3 Sessions

  • Treatment Recovery 0-4 days

  • Procedure Time 5 minutes

  • Skin Specialist: Guidance from clinician

  • Duration of Results: Variable

  • Anesthetic Numbing

  • Back to Work Immediately

Age Spot Treatments
The Facts to Know
  • The most common age spots is called a flat senile wart or macular Seb Keratosis

  • Other types of spots include solar lentigo spots

  • Some forms of age spots including pigmented solar keratosis are precancerous

  • Lentigo maligna melanoma can mimic ages spots

  • Other common cause of pigmentation include regressing lentigo or lichenoid keratosis

  • The ideal treatment depends on the diagnosis

Why is diagnosis of age spots vital before attempting treatments?

Age Spots & Brown Pigment Treatments

Knowing the level of pigmentation is essential to giving predictable results. Some forms of pigmentation are superficial, freckles are examples of surface pigmentation. Some types of age spots are deeper, whilst others maybe cancerous. Diagnosis before treatment not only improves outcomes, but increases safety margins.What is Fractional RF?

Fractional devices treat a percentage of the skin. This allows for much faster healing times. RF stands for Radio Frequency. This is a gentle way of heating skin to increase collagen & decrease acne scars. RF can be delivered through tiny pins, probes, or deeper needles.

How many treatments would I need?

Typically 4-8. Treatments are spaced 3-8 weeks apart.

When will I see results?

With Max RF Fractional RF, results are much slower compared to other devices such as eMatrix, e2, Genius RFM, Infini RFM & Morpheus 8. The reason is because it is limited in both depth & power. Results are seen after 2-4 sessions, typically 8-12 weeks after starting treatment. Patients will see faster & better results following fractional laser resurfacing.

What is the recovery following fractional RF?

2-4 days depending on the device. Skin recovery following RF treatments typically go through phases.

Immediately after fractional RF: Red dots, slight swelling.

  • Day 1-2: Red dots, swelling decreases.

  • Day 2-4: Dots fading, possibly some mild cruising & scabs.

  • Day 5+: Recovery expected.

  • The downtime for Max RF is about 2-4 days, whilst other more powerful devices such as eMatrix & microneedling RF can be 3-6 days.

What fractional devices do I use for the treatment of acne scars?

I don’t quite like devices like the Max RF & even eMatrix – e2 for the management of acne scars. The reason is that they are much too weak to improvesignificant established acne scarring. Fractional devices like RF microneedling or CO2 lasers deliver much better results, with similar downtime.

I do think that weaker & less invasive RF devices such as the Max RF, eMatrix & e2 should be used for milder scars or early acne scarring (less than 3 months old). The majority of low downtime ‘pin based’ RF treatments have been replaced with fractional TIXEL treatment.

Why is it important to approach acne scarring with a method, & not with a device?

There are many forms of acne scarring, including red scars (macular erythema), atrophic scars, hypertrophic scars & pigmented scars. Each scar typewill have an optimal treatment. We approach acne scarring at a medical level, & not cosmetic. We employ treatments such as lasers, microneedling, RFM, deep peels & over 10 other fractional devices to effectively treat your pattern of acne scarring.

When do we use fractional RF to treat acne scars?

My team & I employ deep fractional RF to treat established, moderate to severe, atrophic acne scars in darker skin types, or when downtime is an issue. 

This form of fractional RF –

  • Is much more powerful

  • Goes 10 X deeper  (if required)

  • Has thermal insulation which protects the upper skin

  • Has impedance control that varies power according to resistance

  • Gives better results with less downtime compared to other devices

How do I maximise the benefits of my skin treatments?

Combining treatment with Low Level Laser Emitting Diodes can speed up recovery. Additionally the use of clinical skin care can help remodel collagen. I advocate the use of retinol, as well as skin care acids, antioxidants & vitamins such as niacinamide & ascorbic acid. Be guided by your skin expert as to the correct combinations for your skin concerns

How do I know what is the best acne scar treatment for me?

Everyone’s scar pattern is unique & everyone will have different skin goals. My clinical team offers FREE consultations to give you the information you need about treatments suitable for your scar type. Much like other less invasive & commercially available treatments, fractional RF can improve mild & early acne scars. There are however, much better treatments that dermatology clinics use. I did use a lot of fractional RF treatments for acne scarring over a decade ago. With newer technology, better results can be achieved with similar downtime.  For early & mild acne scars, my clinical team of nurses can assess, & provide you a treatment plan based upon your acne scar type.

What are effective ways of reducing or removing age spots?

Lasers are the most effective methods of removing age spots. Superficial spots are removed with Fraxel or Fractional Lasers, deeper spots are removed with erbium or CO2 lasers.

In ethnic/Asian skin I use Pico lasers, often in combination with fractional laser resurfacing.

Chemical peels including Jessner or Jessner TCA can also remove stubborn age spots. In lighter skin patients I also use BBL or IPL.

How many treatments will I require?

One to three sessions, depending on the diagnosis & your ethnicity. In lighter skin patients, one to two laser sessions will remove the vast majority of spots. For darker skin patients 2 to 3 sessions maybe required.

Note, melasma pigmentation is different from age spots. This special form of pigmentation must be treated gradually, or pigment flare ups are possible.

How long will it take to recover from laser treatment?

This depends on the type of laser we employ as well as laser settings. As a guide-

  • Nano Q switch Spectra Dermal toning: No downtime

  • Pico Lasers/Picoway/Picosure: 0-1 days

  • LaseMD Ultra: 1-3 days

  • Fraxel: 3-4 days

  • Clear & Brilliant: 2-3 days

  • CO2: 2-4 days

Can creams be used to treat spots & pigmentation?

Creams are useful in prevention of age spots & treatment of some conditions such as melasma. Creams do not treat established skin lesions such as lentigo, or macular -flat seb warts.

Pigment prevention can be achieved with retinol, retinoic acid, niacinamide, ascorbic acid & other pigment inhibitors. The use of high factor SPFs can dramatically reduce pigmentation recurrence.

Can peels remove pigmentation?

As with lasers, it really depends on the diagnosis. Peels including AHA glycolic & lactic acid can reduce pigment. Deeper peels including Jessner & TCA can treat the vast majority of pigmentation. As a guide-

AHA Peels: 4-6 sessions

Jessner: 3-4 sessions

TCA: 1-3 sessions

Jessner + TCA: Only 1 session

Can microneedling remove pigmentation?

Microneedling can marginally improve some forms of pigmentation, however in the majority of cases, this treatment can make pigment worse– especially melasma. I do perform microneedling, however, employ this treatment for topical drug delivery- dermal drug delivery. There are far safer & better ways to treat pigmentation.

Will age spots return after treatment?

Yes, they are called age spots for a reason. In most cases the treated age spots will not recur in the same location. Given time, usually years, more spots will develop as one ages. Everyone will develop age related pigment at some time of their lift. The aim is to manage these spots early.

Small, early-age spots can be treated with lasers such as Pico or fractional lasers.

Why are sunscreen & skin care important when it comes to pigmentation treatments?

90% of pigmentation is contributed by UV exposure, the other 9% due to age & genetics. Rare causes such as drugs, focal PIH due to inflammatory disorders contribute the rare 1% of cases.

As a guide- use SPF 50+, twice a day regardless of UV exposure. Hats & sunglasses are the first line of defence.

Skin care ingredients such as ascorbic acid, antioxidants, & retinol can prevent recurrence.

90% of pigmentation is contributed by UV exposure, the other 9% due to age & genetics. Rare causes such as drugs, focal PIH due to inflammatory disorders contribute the rare 1% of cases.

As a guide- use SPF 50+, twice a day regardless of UV exposure. Hats & sunglasses are the first line of defence.

Skin care ingredients such as ascorbic acid, antioxidants, & retinol can prevent recurrence.

Who should you see if you have age spots?

For simple cases of pigmentation, including age spots, sun spots, freckles & melasma, book an appointment with my clinical nurses @cliniccutis. My nurses have had extensive training across all our laser equipment.

I am more than happy to review your age spots if you are contemplating fully ablative laser resurfacing.

bottom of page