Solar Keratoses (Sun Spots)
What is it and what causes it?
Solar Keratoses (sun spots) arise as a result of excess sun exposure. Most commonly appearing as thickened patches of scaly pink/brown spots on the face and scalp, solar keratoses are considered initially harmless however their treatment is important to ensure they do not progress to cancerous lesions.
Prescribed topical creams such as Aldara can be applied at home. The active ingredient in Aldara activates the body’s immune cells which then recognise and destroy the diseased skin cells, preventing their possible progression. Typically treatment consists of application over a four week cycle.
IPL skin treatments help to rejuvenate the skin by improving the production of collagen, thus improving skin tone and texture, reducing the appearance of fine lines, blemishes, acne scars and sun-damaged skin.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT): A revolutionary treatment for significantly sun-damaged skin, PDT is predominantly used to improve not only the skin’s physical appearance but also prevent existing areas of sun damage manifesting into cancerous lesions.
The procedure involves the application of a specialized, light-activated topical cream known as 5-ALA, which contains an active ingredient that once absorbed into the damaged cells, becomes extremely light sensitive. After an incubation period of between 2-4 hours, the skin is exposed to a particular light source (LED or IPL) resulting in the activation of the treatment and elimiation of unhealthy cells. As activation only occurs in those damaged cells treated by the 5-ALA, healthy tissue is unharmed and scarring is highly unlikely.
Within 2-3 days of treatment, the exposed and sun-damaged skin will be red and possibly sore, then begin to peel, scab and flake off. While this is not an enjoyable effect, it is a vital part of the treatment and necessary for the regeneration of new, healthy skin. 7-10 days post-treatment, the treated area should be healed, leaving noticeably clear and healthy skin behind.