PIGMENTATION REMOVAL AND MELASMA TREATMENT USING LASER

PIGMENTATION REMOVAL AND MELASMA TREATMENT

USING LASER

A lot of skin conditions exist which may bring about discoloration, inflammation or darkening of the natural layer that covers the human body. Issues such as sun damage, acne scarring or flaring up of an eczema are all classified under a broad term known as “hyperpigmentation.”

However, another lesser known type of skin condition that presently affects over five million Americans is melasma. This pigmentary condition which mostly affects the womenfolk is similar to general hyperpigmentation. Melasma, which is a form of skin discoloration that worsens by exposure to the sun, is believed to be triggered by ultra-violet exposure.

Hormonal influences also play another significant role in the development of this skin condition. This is evident by the upsurge of the use of oral contraceptives, pregnancies, birth control pills as well as other developmental therapies.

Melasma is generally difficult to treat; but thanks to technology and intense medical research, pigmentation removal is now possible with the use of laser treatment.

Laser therapy is one of the most innovative and non-invasive treatments for getting rid of undesirable pigmentation on the skin such as freckles, sun spots, and age spots.

How Does Laser Treatment For Pigmentation Removal Work?

During the treatment or session, a laser is shone on the target area and the pigment absorbs the light and heat. When this happens, the spots begin to obliterate. The target area begins to peel and fade following the treatment.

What Can Laser Treat?

Laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is a high-intensity monochromatic or one-color coherent light that can be used to treat a variety of dermatologic conditions. But this depends on the pulse characteristics, the fluence of the laser that is used as well as the nature or type of condition it is used for.

Do Laser Treatment Work for Pigmentation Removal?

Yes, laser treatment can be used for pigmentation removal or for getting rid of melasma. However, it may not produce permanent results. According to recent studies, using laser therapy as the primary option for treating melasma yields little to no improvement. The use of a laser may aggravate some types of melasma instead of mitigating it. before you consider using lasers for treating melasma, consult your doctor.

 Are Laser Treatments for Pigmentation Removal Expensive?

The cost of laser treatment for pigmentation removal depends largely on the size of the target area and on the type of laser that will be employed for the procedure. Demand and location can also affect the pricing structures for these procedures.

The experience of the doctor that will perform the procedure is also a significant factor that you must take into consideration.

What Should I Do Before Pigmentation Removal?

You should consult an experienced and qualified practitioner who works at a reputable clinic with the best and latest tools for the treatment. This is to alleviate the chances of encountering any adverse effects of the treatment. You should also stay away from the sun as much as possible. You should also minimize the use of sunscreens, moisturizers, and mild cleansers.

Do not use any chemical that triggers allergic reactions.

Who Can’t Have Laser Treatment for Pigmentation Removal?

The people who can’t undergo laser treatment for pigmentation removal are those with dark skin or tanned individuals.

People with dark, mottled, raised or large pigmentation may also not be suitable for this procedure. If you belong to this class, you may have to consult your dermatologist.

 What Should I Expect During Laser Treatment For Pigmentation Removal?

Treatment begins with covering your eyes with a pair of goggles. Then, the physician applies a thin film of gel to the treatment area. You should be prepared for a laser response test that helps in determining the response of the tissues and their efficacy to the laser.

This will involve the testing and evaluation of several energy levels.

The laser is placed on your skin. You will start becoming aware of several bright flashes as the laser is moved over the treatment area. The procedure – from start to finish – takes not more than fifteen to thirty minutes.

What Are the Side Effects of Laser Treatment for Pigmentation Removal?

Although laser treatment for pigmentation removal can be extremely effective, it is not without its side effects:

  • Swelling, redness or itching
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to UV rays or the sun
  • Bruising
  • Breakouts
  • Flaking and crusting of the skin

A patient can also suffer severe complications following this procedure. But this could be as a result of inadequate screening and improper use:

  • Scarring
  • Burns
  • Skin discoloration – the target area becomes darker than it should be after the laser treatment or become lighter than it ought to.

How Many Treatments Will Provide Results?

You will need a minimum of three laser pigmentation removal treatments or sessions before you can start seeing results. This is due to the fact that melasma is a deep pigmentation disorder.

Some types of pigmentation may respond better than others. But you should expect nothing less than 50-90 percent reduction in pigmentation.

What Are the Post Laser Treatment Precautions?

Following the laser treatment for pigmentation removal, the target area reddens and starts burning like sunburn. But this is a brief sensation that will soon pass away. If you happen to treat a large area, then expect significant swelling.

If this happens, you may have to take some downtime from work. When you take a shower the next day, don’t scrub the treated areas.

To alleviate the risk of hyperpigmentation or re-pigmentation, you can make use of broad-spectrum SPF50 sunscreen. Avoid liquid sunscreens.

You should not use any makeup for at least five days after the treatment. Makeup is mostly made of moisturizing materials which could hinder the peeling process.

Avoid direct exposure to the sun as well as tanning beds for approximately one to two months after treatment. This is to minimize the chance of light or dark spots.

Do not smoke for at least seven days after the laser procedure since this could prolong healing time.

What Are the Advantages of Laser Treatments for Pigmentation Removal?

Laser treatments for pigmentation removal offer the following benefits:

  • Enhanced tissue regeneration
  • Better microcirculation and vasodilatation
  • Levels of pain are diminished
  • Improvement in regeneration and nerve repair
  • Inflammation decreases
2018-05-18T00:58:31+00:00

About the Author:

Ph.D., MSc, CDE, CRE, APA, MBA candidate, Director of Albany Cosmetic and Laser Centre INC

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