As you age, your skin may develop brown spots that occur on areas of the skin that are most exposed to the sun. The most common areas include the hands, arms, face, shoulders, and upper back. The painless spots may range from brown to black and have the same texture as the skin.

How Do We Get Them?

The spots usually occur due to the excess production of melanin. While no one is really sure why we get them, constant exposure to the sun and UV rays paired with skin aging are usually thought to be the culprits behind the spots. People above 40 years of age with light skin and who have had frequent exposure to the sun and/or tanning beds are most prone to get these spots.

While these spots are harmless they can make you self-conscious, and also sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish them from skin cancer. Laser treatments such as YAG, however, can effectively remove these spots and improve your complexion.

YAG Laser Treatment:

Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet) or commonly referred to as just YAG, is a crystal that is used in the laser to effectively breakdown the melanin in the skin causing the brown spots. Once the pigment s broken into smaller particles, the body can process and eliminate it.

The procedure usually takes a few minutes, and is done in the office. No anesthetic is used for the treatment, and patients don’t have to worry about any downtime. There may be some redness to the treated area for a few weeks.

You may feel a slight pinching feeling during the treatment, but the feeling is minor and nothing to worry about. Immediately after the treatment, your doctor may place ice packs on the treated area to soothe the skin.

After the treatment is completed, it is important that scrubbing agents are not used on the treated areas. You should also make sure to protect the treated areas from the sun with sun screen or another protective agent. Tanning parlors should be avoided at all costs. This way, patients can protect themselves from post inflammatory pigmentation.

There are potential side effects to any procedure. The most common risks for YAG laser include under treatment or no response needing a second treatment, or unpredictable permanent loss of pigmentation in the treated area. The risk of scar is minimal. The laser can damage your eyes; there we place protective goggles on both the patient and staff during all treatments.

Benefits of the YAG Laser

• The treatment is precise and safe.
• The side effects are minor and subside quickly.
• The treatment works wonders on the first session and may not require patients to come back for any more sessions.
• The YAG laser treatment is quick and effective.
• The treatment is non-surgical and allows you to return to your normal life immediately after the treatment.
• The treatment can improve the complexion of your skin if you take proper care of it after the procedure.

Fading creams and sunscreens should be used after the procedure. By applying sunscreen for long after the treatment is completed, you’ll be able to decrease the chances of the spots returning. Your spotless and improved complexion can help make you feel better about the way you look and build your confidence. Since the treatment is long term and harmless, it is one of the best options available to remove or significantly reduce brown spots.

Contact Our Office

Interested in learning more about the YAG laser and the benefits it can provide? Contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Yoash Enzer, a board-certified surgeon and Rhode Island’s top laser and cosmetic specialist, to learn more.