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Sun Damage and Age Spots

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One Treatment using Lumecca
by Victoria Motazedi at the Colorado Laser Clinic

Sun damage or Photo-aging of the skin is a direct result of UVA and UVB light exposure. It doesn’t matter if you acquire your tan directly from the sun or from a sun tanning salon, the result is still the same – sun damage. UVA and UVB light both damage and age the skin. UVB are the burning rays that cause the skin to sunburn. UVA wave lengths cause the skin to age with wrinkles, freckles, age spots, spider veins, Rosacea and cause skin cancers. Sunlight is the major cause of skin cancer and skin aging. Colorado's high altitude makes it one of the worst places to live if you are prone to sun damage, melasma, or skin cancer.

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Before and After 1 IPL treatment on arm

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Before Treatment
Melasma on the forehead

After pre-treatment with a cream to calm down the patient's melanocytes and one facial peel
Treatment performed by Victoria Motazedi

After pre-treatment fading cream and one facial peel
Treatment performed at the Colorado Laser Clinic

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Seborrheic keratosis cosmetically removed by Robert T. Motazedi MD

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Pigmented Lesions removed by Robert T. Motazedi MD

The Colorado Laser Clinic offers patients a variety of lasers, light sources, and chemical peels that treat sun damage and photo-aging. IPL or Photo-rejuvenation, fractionated resurfacing with the Fraxel, CO2 fractional and full-ablative laser resurfacing and Q-switched Nd/Yag lasers can also be used to treat Photo-aging. Patients need evaluated to see which treatment protocol will best treat their particular skin type and condition.

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Sun spots removed using the Q-Switched ND/Yag laser by Robert T. Motazedi MD

Sun damage comes in many forms. Benign forms like freckles and ages spots are a result of a combination of genetic predisposition and sun exposure. People with blond or red hair, light colored eyes and fair skin are more likely to develop freckles as a result of being outside in the sun or from using tanning beds. Natural sunlight and artificial suntanning lights emit ultraviolet (UV) rays. Exposure to ultraviolet rays causes the outer layer of the skin to thicken and the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) to produce more pigment. That is why sun exposure results in a tanning of the skin. Zinc based sun screens are an absolute must to help prevent this damage.

Of course, people differ a great deal in their reaction to sunlight. People with dark complexions are relatively less sensitive to sun exposure than fair-skinned people. However, dark skinned individuals can become sunburned with prolonged exposure. They also can develop conditions like melasma. Darker skinned individuals can develop skin cancers and melanoma.

Other types of skin lesions can form and may be due to exposure from the sun. Raised scaly brown patches called seborrheic keratoses are often genetic and occur in mainly middle aged and older adults. They can occur anywhere on the body. Seborrheic keratoses vary in size and grow slowly. They usually have a waxy, scaling, or crusted surface. Most SKs are brown but may exhibit other coloring. These lesions are not cancerous but will continue to grow and get bigger. A physician should always be sought out to determine if a funny looking spot is cancerous.

Facial veins caused by excessive sun exposure
After treatment with IPL

Ruddy complexion and facial veins caused by from excessive sun damage.

Treated by Victoria Motazedi, PEP, PE

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Sun damage and precancerous lesions removed using the full ablative CO2 laser
by Robert T. Motazedi MD