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Lasers vs. Peels: What’s the Best Way to Zap Sun Spots With Cosmetic Dermatology?

A woman wears a hat to protect her skin from sun damage.

With the summer months ahead of us, sun damage is becoming an increasingly important concern. At our cosmetic dermatology practice in Westchester County, treating and preventing sun damage is a major priority throughout the year, because UV rays can weaken the skin and lead to unfortunate consequences such as skin cancer.

For patients who want to address existing sun damage and ward off further symptoms, we offer 2 effective treatments: Fraxel® laser skin resurfacing and chemical peels. In this blog post, we will review them both to help you decide which treatment may be best for you.


Fraxel is a laser treatment that stimulates collagen production and encourages the natural rejuvenation process. It is helpful for treating sun spots and creating softer, brighter skin.

In addition to treating sun damage, it can also address:

  • Wrinkles around the eyes
  • Age spots
  • Brown spots and melasma
  • Scars from acne, chicken pox, and surgery

During the treatment, a “smart scanning” handpiece allows a laser to selectively penetrate the top layer of your skin, which advances collagen production. Patients occasionally report some discomfort, but that is usually well managed with a topical anesthetic and temperature regulation.

We generally recommend 3 to 5 sessions spaced 4-8 weeks apart. The first few days after your treatments, you may experience some itchiness, dryness, or flaking. Your results will develop as your skin heals, and you can expect to see an ultimate change in tone and brightness after 6 months.

Chemical Peels

We offer several varieties of chemical peels designed to address different concerns. Our Jessner Efudex peel specifically destroys pre-cancerous cells caused by sun damage, potentially preventing the need for more intensive treatments like surgery down the line.

The treatment takes about 10 minutes and requires very little downtime, with a little dryness and flakiness.  We will apply 2 clear liquids to the face and allow them to dry, which will quickly give your skin a clearer, smoother texture. For the best results, we recommend 4-6 treatments at 2 week intervals.

Preventing Sun Damage

One of the best ways you can combat sun damage is by preventing it in the first place. A few precautions you can take to keep your skin safe in the sun include:

  • Apply sunscreen every day. This should be a part of your daily routine.
  • Avoid direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when UV rays are the strongest.
  • Wear protective clothing outdoors, such as long sleeves and wide-brimmed hats.
  • Choose sunglasses that filter UV rays.
  • Sun damage is not to be taken lightly. Preventive measures and prompt treatment can help reverse negative effects and keep your skin looking and feeling as healthy as possible.

To learn more about sun damage and options for treatment with cosmetic dermatology in the Westchester area, please contact us online or call (914) 241-3003 to request a consultation.

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The Center for Dermatology,
Cosmetic & Laser Surgery
359 East Main Street #4g
Mount Kisco, NY 10549

Phone: (914) 241-3003
Fax: (914) 241-1525

Monday–Thursday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
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