Many Australians, especially those with light coloured skin, have sunspots. These are rough scaly spots on sun-damaged skin and are called actinic keratosis (AK’s). Sunspots affect the skin appearance and texture and are precancerous. Treatment can be directed at individual lesions, usually by using cryotherapy. This is practical and effective, but can leave hypo-pigmentary (white) scarring and does not address the full surface of the skin and the non-visible sun damage.
Field sunspot treatment involves the management of the entire field or region of sun damaged skin rather than treating the individual AK’s alone. Field treatment is important as it addresses both the visible AK’s and also the regional “clones” of irregular/dysplastic cells at a cellular and subclinical level. AKs are often multiple and the concept of ‘field cancerisation’ has been discussed. This means that an entire area has undergone solar damage with precancerous and cancerous lesions. It is necessary that a treatment addresses not only overt AK’s, but also treats subclinical lesions nearby.
Photodynamic laser or Fraxel laser are modalities of treatment that can be used to improve sunspots. The advantage of these treatments is that they address other irregularities caused by the sun such as redness, pigmentation etc at the same time as reducing sunspots. Hence, they improve the global health and appearance of the skin. Dr Wines will discuss the treatment options that are available in terms of cost, downtime and results.
A referral is not required for cosmetic consultations with Dr Wines as these do not attract a medicare rebate unless you have a medical problem.