At Kew Dermatology we can treat a small number of lesions in a localised area using liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy the area of sun damage. This is a very quick procedure that our Dermatologists can perform during your appointment. The lesion may blister or be red for up to 10 days after the treatment.
For treatment of larger areas of sunspots your Dermatologist may recommend applying a cream (such as Efudix, Aldara or Picato) to affected areas, for example your forehead or the backs of your hands. This allows treatment of a larger area of your skin than what can be accomplished with Cryotherapy.
Treatment lasts for a 2 to 6 week interval and must be prescribed by your Dermatologist. After several days of application, the sunspots will become red and inflamed. This will continue for a few weeks after the cream has been discontinued. The redness can be very intense and may require some planning to determine convenient times to do the treatment. Treatment may be prescribed in winter because some treatments make you sun-sensitive.
Kew Dermatology offers photodynamic therapy for the treatment of sun spots and early skin cancers. This therapy targets the skin condition by combining energy and a cream medication to create a chemical reaction. Before the photodynamic therapy, your lesion will be marked out and the scales or crusting gently scraped. The special cream will then be applied and covered with a dressing. This stays in place for 3 hours before it is removed and the bright light is irradiated onto your lesion.
To minimise any pain you may feel during photodynamic therapy, local anaesthetic is provided and cool air are blown onto the treatment area. A follow up appointment with your Dermatologist is needed a few weeks after treatment to monitor your healing and check if any new skin lesions have occurred.
Sunscreens and prevention
Avoiding the sun and regularly using a high-SPF sunscreen can effectively limit further skin damage and development of sun spots. Broad-spectrum sunscreens, which provide protection from UVA and UVB rays, are the best, and you should use one with at least an SPF of 30+.
A few ingredients found in cosmetics can minimize sun damage over the long term. These include prescription vitamin A, glycolic acid and Niacinamide / vitamin B3. You can consult with our nurses to obtain advice on suitable products with appropriate concentrations of these protective ingredients.
Although an important part of sun protection for your skin, sunscreens cannot replace sensible avoidance of the sun and wearing protective gear, such as hats, clothing and sunglasses. Our clinic stocks a selection of the better-quality sunscreens on the market, and our staff would be pleased to offer advice and explain the important aspects of their application at your next clinic visit.
To check the available appointments, please ring our receptionists at (03) 9853 2111.