Laser Therapy for Sun Spots, Freckles and Uneven Pigment
Almost everyone has a few brown spots on their face - small round marks from sun exposure, or freckles, even birthmarks. The medical term is "pigmented lesion." Although not harmful to the skin's health, they detract from an even, luminous complexion.
Can Bleaching Creams Treat Sunspots and Melasma?
Lightening, or bleaching creams, is an important element of treating sunspots and melasma, used in conjunction with all other methods. Bleaching creams may contain hydroquinone, tretinoin, vitamin C, kojic acid, glycolic acids. and other lightening agents. The use of sunscreen is also necessary to successfully treat sun damage and melasma.
Are Chemical Peels and Microdermabrasion Helpful for Treating Sunspots and Melasma?
Chemical peels and microdermabrasion are both useful for treating sunspots and melasma, in conjunction with lightening creams, sunscreen, and possibly laser.
What causes these unwanted spots?
Melanin is what gives our skin its color. The amount of melanin in your skin determines if you have a light or dark complexion. Pigmented lesions are dark in color because the melanin is concentrated in one area of the skin, usually as a result of overexposure to the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays.
How does a laser remove unwanted pigment in the skin?
Q-Switched Nd:YAG lasers produce a special wavelength of light that is absorbed by pigmented lesions. The light vibrates and shatters the pigment, breaking the melanin into micro-particles and lightening the lesion. You'll notice the spot turning gray or white for a few minutes, a natural response of the skin as it absorbs the energy. The spot will then turn darker and slough off completely within one to two weeks.
What types of pigmented lesions can a laser remove?
Lasers work well to remove brown age spots, freckles and other brown birthmarks, such as cafe-au-lait spots and Nevus of Ota. Your physician will identify your specific type of lesion and discuss the treatment for your condition.
Do lasers remove my normal skin pigmentation also?
No. The laser light is specifically designed to target the dark concentrations of melanin. After the concentrated deposit of melanin is removed, some whitening could occur. However, your body's natural regenerative system will replace the normal melanin over a period of time, returning the skin to its natural color.
How many treatment sessions will it take to remove the pigmented lesion?
Most pigmented lesions are removed within one to two treatments. Some deeper lesions will require more treatments.
Is the process painful?
The PhotoAcoustic energy of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser emits light in very fast, short pulses. The impact of the energy from the pulse of light is similar to the snap of a very thin rubber band. No anesthesia is needed. After treatment, the area will feel similar to a mild sunburn. Any redness will disappear within a day or so and the skin will return to its natural color.
Can the excess pigmentation come back?
Common pigmented lesions do not return. Some birthmarks may return after a period of several months to a year. However, the procedure can be repeated.
What type of post-treatment care is necessary?
Usually, an antibacterial ointment and a dressing will be applied to the area immediately after treatment. The area should be kept clean with continued application of any ointment given to you by your physician.
Can lasers treat melasma?
PhotoAcoustic lasers can be used to treat deeper pigment problems, including melasma. Often called the 'mask of pregnancy,' melasma appears as a dark 'stain' on the skin and can be triggered by hormonal changes. Although doctors have yet to find a cure, a combination of laser therapy and skincare prescription products can manage the condition very well.
How do I get started?
Talk to your physician about your skincare concerns and see if lasers are the right choice for you. Which laser is best to eliminate brown spots? The RevLite is an advanced Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser for treatment of brown spots and other pigment problems. The unique PTP setting (PhotoAcoustic Technology Pulse) provides extra power for effective treatment.