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Do you feel way too young to have age spots? Me too. But as it turns out, those flat brown blemishes that had been on the backs of my hands for what seems like forever weren’t a sign that my AARP card was in the mail—instead, they were caused by way too much sunbathing in my youth.

I’ve since wised up and quit the tanning bed, and I no longer spend hours trying to toast my fair skin in the sun. I’m sure this is saving my skin in the long run; but in the short term, it just made those not-age-spots even more visible, like neon lights screaming that I am way too old to be a Justin Bieber fan. (Hey, he has some catchy tunes.)

I booked an appointment with Jill at Aspire Plastic Surgery. She decided this sunlight damage could be diminished by a different kind of light: Intense pulsed light, or IPL. IPL is non-invasive, non-surgical and requires little to no downtime. It would require several visits, Jill said, but she felt confident that we could make the constellations on the backs of my hands fade.

IPL uses different wavelengths of light directed at the skin, where it is converted to heat energy to blast the blemish. Which wavelength will get the job done without scarring is a science and an art borne of experience, so I was glad my hands were in good hands.

Jill and I both donned glasses, and she went to work with the small wand, zapping each spot she spied. It was relatively painless and relatively fast—I was in and out in well under a half-hour. Most of my small age spots had faded significantly after two visits, but the pesky brown island on my left hand was still fairly noticeable. On my third visit, Jill switched to a different wavelength. Over the following days, I watched as it seemed to turn darker, and then the patch of color fragmented and dissipated. It was like my scarlet letter (A for age) was gone. Take that, age spot!

IPL treats a myriad of other skin concerns as well, including fine lines and wrinkles, spider veins or broken capillaries, even unwanted hair. Call Aspire and schedule a consultation with Jill or Kari.

As for my age spots, I’m thrilled that I no longer have too much “time” on my hands. Make that too much sun!

To schedule an IPL treatment, call Aspire Plastic Surgery in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at 260-427-7473.

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