Sunspots which are also known as actinic keratoses or solar keratoses are precancerous spots that occur on the skin with sun damage. They occur in sun-exposed areas such as the face, hands, and arms and can also occur on the lower legs, especially in Australia.

Only a small number will progress into skin cancer. Sunspots are seen more often in fair-skinned people who have had a lifetime of sun exposure. They can also be seen in people who are immunosuppressed. This means that the immune system is not functioning as well and this can occur in organ transplant patients who are committed to taking anti-rejection medication.

The treatment of your sunspots will depend on how extensive they are and if they are symptomatic and also if they are a cosmetic concern to you. If you have a few scattered spots, then the first option of treatment is with dry ice. This is also called cryotherapy and is a treatment used by a doctor in a spray form. It causes a mild stinging sensation. The area then becomes red, crusts-up and over the next week to two, the area falls off.

If you have a number of sunspots then field treatment can also be considered. This allows treatment of many spots at one time. There are a few ways that this can be performed and they include with topical 5-FU (Efudix), topical imiquimod (Aldara) and also photodynamic therapy. You may choose to treat only a small area such as your nose or forehead, however more often a full face treatment is appropriate.

Topical 5-FU
This is a cream that is used daily over a period of 3 weeks. The area becomes quite red and crusty and can lead to good control of the sunspots.
Topical imiquimod
This works in a slightly different way and is used 3 times a week for 4-6 weeks. The effects with redness and crusting are very similar although a little less predictable.
Photodynamic therapy
This has been recently adapted to use daylight to obtain good control of sunspots. This is a safe and effective non-surgical method as an option. It is often used in preference to 5-FU and imiquimod because the treatment time is 3 hours as opposed to 3-6 weeks. Just as with creams, this treatment also causes redness, scaling, and then resolution over 2 weeks. Usually, only one treatment is needed but your dermatologist may advise 2 treatments if you have quite severe involvement with sunspots. PDT treatment however is significantly more expensive than purchasing topical 5- FU. If this is a treatment option for you, one of our clinic nurses will discuss this further with you. There are other options for managing sunspots and these include chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and topical diclofenac gel.

Our Mission

At Western Dermatology, our expert team of nurses and dermal therapists, led by our dermatologist, Dr. Jack Green, are committed to ensuring that skin concerns are dealt with to your satisfaction. We have many years of experience in the management of a wide range of skin problems of all ages and all skin types. With a long established reputation for high standards and ethical practice, we can provide you with an accurate assessment and treatment plan appropriate for your skin needs.

To Make An Appointment

Phone: (03) 9748 4411

Email: admin@westderm.net.au

Fax: (03) 9749 3398

To Make An Appointment

Phone:

(03) 9748 4411

Email:

admin@westderm.net.au

Fax:

(03) 9749 3398

Important Information About Your Appointment

Referral

A valid referral is required from you GP or other specialist to be able to claim Medicare benefits from your consultation.

A referral is not required to consult with our cosmetic dermal therapist.

Registration

A form registering your details, medications and previous medical problems will need to be completed on the day of your appointment prior to your consultation. Please remember to bring a list of current medications with you on the day.

Payment

Settling of your fee is required on the day of consultation.

We accept VISA and MasterCard, EFTPOS and cash payments

Significant cosmetic treatments require payment at the time the procedure appointment is made

Failure to keep appointments

Missed appointments will incur a cancellation fee.

Make up / Clothing

Please remember to remove make up for facial concerns (and remember to bring some makeup to reapply after the consultation)

For consultations where a skin check is required, wearing looser clothing may be helpful or alternatively there are patient gowns available for your use

New Appointments

These appointments can only be made for the Werribee and Richmond locations.

In Ballarat only review appointments are offered.

Cosmetic Treatments

Most cosmetic treatments are only offered at our Werribee location.

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