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Hyperpigmentation - Know About Its Laser Treatment!

Dr.Lalit Choudhary 90% (77ratings)
M.Ch - Plastic Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Delhi
Hyperpigmentation - Know About Its Laser Treatment!

It is a condition that causes discoloration and discolored patches to appear on the skin. The color of one’s skin is determined by the production of melanin in the body, and hyperpigmentation is caused by a disproportionate production of melanin. People of any race or skin color can be affected by this condition. The most common pigmentation problems are brown sun spots, melasma, age spots, and pigmented birthmarks.  Pigmentation issues very depending on the natural colour of the skin. Treatments include fade creams, IPL, Elos Aurora, laser treatments like Fraxel Dual and in some cases biopsy or skin excision is required to exclude skin cancer such as melanoma.

Three skin irregularities caused by this condition are; Post Inflammatory hyperpigmentation, Lentigines (or sun spots) and Melasma.

  1. Treatment of brown sun spots: Many people have mottled brown spots, freckles and patches on their skin due to excess pigmentation. These are easily treated with medical grade Elos IPL or Fraxel Dual laser. There is a range of different causes of pigmentation. Treatments differ depending on what type of pigmentation is affecting your skin. The brown pigmentation is called melanin and is made by special cells in the skin called melanocytes. The main categories of pigmentation problem are freckles, age spots, (also called liver spots or sun spots) melasma and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. 
  2. Melasma: Women with a genetic predisposition to this condition or those with darker skin complexions and those who have a higher exposure to ultraviolet rays are most commonly affected by melasma. It is a condition that affects the areas of the skin that are most exposed to the sun. It involves female hormones and so women who are pregnant are generally affected by melasma. Melasma is blotchy areas of brown skin pigmentation on the face. Melasma, (also known as chloasma), appears as blotchy pale brownish pigmentation on the face, especially forehead, cheek and upper lip. It is more common on darker skin types. It is especially common in women aged 20-40 and is associated with pregnancy or taking the contraceptive pill or injection. It also happens in healthy, non-pregnant woman taking no medications and men using aftershave. Sun exposure following some cosmetics can cause a phototoxic reaction where the chemical substance absorbs UV light. The resulting pigmentation extends where sun and cosmetic use have coincided, for example down the neck, often more on the right side in countries that drive on the left. Melasma is more stubborn and unpredictable to treat than freckles or age spots because the melanocytes have become sensitized and continue to produce extra pigment with even the slightest hint of sun. Sun protection is an essential part of treatment. Melasma can be treated with Active FX Laser Resurfacing. It destroys up to 80% of melanin, efficiently, which is ideal for cases of melasma that cause excessive pigmentation of skin.
  3. Lentigines: Minute brown spots that appear on your face and body, which is the collective result of continuous exposure to the sun, photodamage or chronic sun damage, are called lentigines. The spots usually have a visibly distinct border and appear on areas most exposed to the sun such as the face and hands.

How is one affected by post inflammatory pigmentation?
If there is an excessive production of melanin in the body, it could then overflow to the surface of the skin; this is caused by an inflammation. Post inflammatory pigmentation is the formation of brown patches on the skin that are the result of infection, injury or other conditions. Patients who already have a skin problem are more likely to be affected by this condition.

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) occurs after injury to the skin from whatever cause and is far more prevalent in darker skin. PIH appears as a dark brown area over the area of the previous injury and is due to excess melanin being produced by melanocytes as a result of the inflammation. Typically PIH resolves over several months but can persist for 1-2 years and in some cases can be everlasting. Treatment is generally patience as it will resolve and treatments risk further inflammation and therefore further PIH.  However hydroquinone can be useful in some patients and others benefit from mild treatments of Elos Aurora, IPL or Fraxel Dual laser.

Treatment of freckles

Freckles are small flat brown marks on sun exposed areas. The medical term is ‘ephilide’ and they are an accumulation of melanin in the surface skin cells (keratinocytes). The tendency to form freckles is inherited and is often seen in red heads and younger people. Freckles usually fade in winter and reappear in summer. They need no treatment except sun protection. They can also be faded by Elos IPL, but will reappear with sun exposure. No treatment can transform a skin which freckles, into one which tans evenly.  Of course, further sun exposure can bring the freckles out again so it is very important to apply a good sunscreen following treatment to maximise results.

How does laser treatment help to remedy hyperpigmentation?

  • Clear and Brilliant, Fraxel and Photofacial are three types of laser treatment that have been known to resolve hyperpigmentation.
  • Short bursts of energy and heat are produced by the laser and aimed at the cells that have a concentration of melanin. The excess melanin from these cells is then broken down and destroyed with the help of the laser.
  • Each case of hyperpigmentation varies, and their treatment varies on the extent of the condition as well. The treatment will be administered over a course of sessions.

Though these treatments are effective, one must always stay protected from damage due to overexposure to the sun, by wearing the sunscreen with the correct SPF and other sun gear. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2960 people found this helpful

Hyperpigmentation - Laser Treatment For It!

Dr.Nishant Chhajer 92% (708ratings)
M. Ch. (Plastic Surgery), MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Noida
Hyperpigmentation - Laser Treatment For It!

It is a condition that causes discoloration and discolored patches to appear on the skin. The color of one’s skin is determined by the production of melanin in the body, and hyperpigmentation is caused by a disproportionate production of melanin. People of any race or skin color can be affected by this condition. The most common pigmentation problems are brown sun spots, melasma, age spots, and pigmented birthmarks.  Pigmentation issues very depending on the natural colour of the skin. Treatments include fade creams, IPL, Elos Aurora, laser treatments like Fraxel Dual and in some cases biopsy or skin excision is required to exclude skin cancer such as melanoma.

Three skin irregularities caused by this condition are; Post Inflammatory hyperpigmentation, Lentigines (or sun spots) and Melasma.

  1. Treatment of brown sun spots: Many people have mottled brown spots, freckles and patches on their skin due to excess pigmentation. These are easily treated with medical grade Elos IPL or Fraxel Dual laser. There is a range of different causes of pigmentation. Treatments differ depending on what type of pigmentation is affecting your skin. The brown pigmentation is called melanin and is made by special cells in the skin called melanocytes. The main categories of pigmentation problem are freckles, age spots, (also called liver spots or sun spots) melasma and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. 
  2. Melasma: Women with a genetic predisposition to this condition or those with darker skin complexions and those who have a higher exposure to ultraviolet rays are most commonly affected by melasma. It is a condition that affects the areas of the skin that are most exposed to the sun. It involves female hormones and so women who are pregnant are generally affected by melasma. Melasma is blotchy areas of brown skin pigmentation on the face. Melasma, (also known as chloasma), appears as blotchy pale brownish pigmentation on the face, especially forehead, cheek and upper lip. It is more common on darker skin types. It is especially common in women aged 20-40 and is associated with pregnancy or taking the contraceptive pill or injection. It also happens in healthy, non-pregnant woman taking no medications and men using aftershave. Sun exposure following some cosmetics can cause a phototoxic reaction where the chemical substance absorbs UV light. The resulting pigmentation extends where sun and cosmetic use have coincided, for example down the neck, often more on the right side in countries that drive on the left. Melasma is more stubborn and unpredictable to treat than freckles or age spots because the melanocytes have become sensitized and continue to produce extra pigment with even the slightest hint of sun. Sun protection is an essential part of treatment. Melasma can be treated with Active FX Laser Resurfacing. It destroys up to 80% of melanin, efficiently, which is ideal for cases of melasma that cause excessive pigmentation of skin.
  3. Lentigines: Minute brown spots that appear on your face and body, which is the collective result of continuous exposure to the sun, photodamage or chronic sun damage, are called lentigines. The spots usually have a visibly distinct border and appear on areas most exposed to the sun such as the face and hands.

How is one affected by post inflammatory pigmentation?
If there is an excessive production of melanin in the body, it could then overflow to the surface of the skin; this is caused by an inflammation. Post inflammatory pigmentation is the formation of brown patches on the skin that are the result of infection, injury or other conditions. Patients who already have a skin problem are more likely to be affected by this condition.

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) occurs after injury to the skin from whatever cause and is far more prevalent in darker skin. PIH appears as a dark brown area over the area of the previous injury and is due to excess melanin being produced by melanocytes as a result of the inflammation. Typically PIH resolves over several months but can persist for 1-2 years and in some cases can be everlasting. Treatment is generally patience as it will resolve and treatments risk further inflammation and therefore further PIH.  However hydroquinone can be useful in some patients and others benefit from mild treatments of Elos Aurora, IPL or Fraxel Dual laser.

Treatment of freckles

Freckles are small flat brown marks on sun exposed areas. The medical term is ‘ephilide’ and they are an accumulation of melanin in the surface skin cells (keratinocytes). The tendency to form freckles is inherited and is often seen in red heads and younger people. Freckles usually fade in winter and reappear in summer. They need no treatment except sun protection. They can also be faded by Elos IPL, but will reappear with sun exposure. No treatment can transform a skin which freckles, into one which tans evenly.  Of course, further sun exposure can bring the freckles out again so it is very important to apply a good sunscreen following treatment to maximise results.

How does laser treatment help to remedy hyperpigmentation?

  • Clear and Brilliant, Fraxel and Photofacial are three types of laser treatment that have been known to resolve hyperpigmentation.
  • Short bursts of energy and heat are produced by the laser and aimed at the cells that have a concentration of melanin. The excess melanin from these cells is then broken down and destroyed with the help of the laser.
  • Each case of hyperpigmentation varies, and their treatment varies on the extent of the condition as well. The treatment will be administered over a course of sessions.

Though these treatments are effective, one must always stay protected from damage due to overexposure to the sun, by wearing the sunscreen with the correct SPF and other sun gear. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3048 people found this helpful

When Is The Right For A Laser Skin Rejuvenation Treatment?

Dermatologist, Pune
When Is The Right For A Laser Skin Rejuvenation Treatment?

Ageing is an irreversible process of human existence. With ageing, your skin will start to show problems and one of them would be the loosening or sagging of skin. While there are many treatments available to counter this problem, one of the most effective and popular methods is laser skin tightening.

In this method, a focused beam of infrared light is used to heat up the collagen under the skin. This triggers collagen growth resulting in the skin becoming tighter, thus, reduces  sagging, wrinkles, lines and other blemishes in the process.

Who can go for laser skin tightening?

Laser skin tightening is targeted towards both men and women of any age. Most of the candidates who avail of laser skin tightening are within the age range of 30 to 60 years and have common complaints about skin caused due to age. Some of the problems that laser skin tightening can deal with very well are mentioned as follows:

  1. Tightening and repairing loose facial skin

  2. Reducing fine lines all over the body

  3. Reducing wrinkles all over the body

However, you should know that laser skin tightening will not be able to correct loose facial skin if they form jowls or droopy sacs. In such cases you may need to avail of other surgeries, such as a face lift to correct the laxity of facial skin. You can then follow it up with laser skin tightening to eliminate the remaining wrinkles or lines.

Which of the areas of the body can be treated by laser skin tightening?

This form of treatment has been found to be very effective with skin from all over the body. Some of the areas which can be treated are

  1. Abdomen

  2. Legs

  3. Arms

  4. Face

  5. Buttocks

  6. Neck among others

Laser skin tightening can treat even moderate amount of laxity in all of these areas, thus reducing the need to go for more invasive types of surgery such as tummy tuck surgery or even liposuction.

When would laser skin tightening not be applicable?

Laser skin tightening is a very commonly availed procedure all around the world and there are very few risks usually associated with it. However, it is not advisable in certain circumstances:

  1. If one is prone to having herpes outbreaks

  2. If anyone has suffered or is currently suffering from skin cancer

  3. It is not recommended for pregnant women either
5397 people found this helpful

Hyperpigmentation - How Laser Treatment Can Help?

Dr.Monica Jacob 90% (14ratings)
MBBS, MD
Aesthetic Medicine Specialist, Mumbai
Hyperpigmentation - How Laser Treatment Can Help?

Beauty is not determined by the color of skin, but by the evenness of its tone. Hyperpigmentation is a condition where patches of skin become darker than the rest of your skin. This darkening is caused by an excessive production of melanin. It is relatively common but harmless. Hyperpigmentation is commonly seen on the face, arms and hands and also takes the form of age spots, sun spots, freckles etc. Genetic disorders and ageing can increase your risk of developing these dark patches.

Though it does not affect a person’s health, hyperpigmentation can affect self-confidence. Thankfully, this condition can be treated in a number of ways. Some ways of treating hyperpigmentation are:

  1. Topical skin lightening creams
  2. Light therapy
  3. Chemical peels
  4. Laser treatment

The laser can be explained as Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Laser treatment has been used for hyperpigmentation from as early as 1964. Though there are many types of lasers, argon and carbon dioxide lasers are the ones used to treat this condition. These lasers provide short bursts of highly concentrated light on the affected area. This lowers the risk of scarring. Lasers can be used for long pulse or short pulse therapies to treat varying degrees of melanin production. Your natural skin tone will also play a part in determining which type of laser treatment is best suited to you. The bursts of light produced by lasers destroy the excessive melanin through the heat generated by them and boost collagen production to aid in the healing process.

A typical laser treatment session lasts 30 to 45 minutes but can extend further depending on the size of the area to be treated. This may need to be repeated on a monthly basis until the desired effect is achieved. Laser treatment is usually pain-free but you may feel slight stinging or discomfort at the site. Your skin may also be red or inflamed for the first 24 hours after treatment. It is best to avoid makeup, fragrant skin products and sun exposure for a few days after the procedure.

When used properly laser has negligible risks. All the risks associated with lasers are dependent on the expertise of the doctor operating it. Improper use of lasers can cause blistering and burning of the skin and can even cause permanent blindness if it comes in contact with your eyes. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.
 

3652 people found this helpful

Laser Treatment For Varicose Veins!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, Fellowship In Advanced Laparoscopic colo-rectal & Robotic Surgery, FICS - General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery(FMAS) & Reproductive Medicine, Fellowship in Laser Varicose Vein Surgery
General Surgeon, Mumbai
Laser Treatment For Varicose Veins!

Varicose veins are superficial, swollen, enlarged and twisting veins, often appearing dark purple or blue on the feet and legs. The condition occurs when blood through the veins flow in the wrong direction and starts accumulating.

Although varicose veins is not a serious condition, you should seek treatment if it causes symptoms like swelling and pain in the extremities. In severe cases, where a varicose vein ruptures or develops to form skin ulcers, your doctor may recommend laser treatment.

Can laser treatment cure varicose veins?

Laser surgery can effectively treat varicose veins. The procedure involves using a high-intensity beam of light to reduce enlarged, bulging veins that are observed usually on the calves or thighs.

How does the procedure work?

The heat emitted from the laser damages a vein, which causes scar tissues to form. This scar tissue shrinks and closes the vein. A closed vein gradually loses its source of blood and dies. After some time, usually in a year or two, the vein disappears on its own.

Two types of laser surgery are performed, namely –

• Simple Laser Treatment – This is done on the outer layers of your skin. It can cure small varicose veins and spider veins under the skin surface. Normally, more than one session, scheduled every 6-12 weeks is needed.
• Endovenous Laser Treatment – This particular procedure is used to cure large varicose veins that appear on the legs.
The steps of the procedure are as follows –
• Your healthcare provider will administer local anaesthesia to numb the area. You may be provided with an eyeglass to protect your eyes
• The surgeon will make a small incision on the skin and pass a laser fibre through a catheter into the veins while closely monitoring the vein on a screen
• As he/she pulls out the catheter, the length of the vein will heat up and shrink, and eventually close

This outpatient procedure is less painful than stripping and litigation. It has a shorter recovery period and can be performed under local anaesthesia or mild sedatives.

What to Expect

After the laser treatment, you can walk around without much complication. The recovery period is typically brief. You can expect to return to your daily activities following simple laser surgery. However, you might need to wear a compression stocking for a week or so after the endovenous laser procedure.
You may notice redness, bruising or burns on the skin after the treatment. That is only normal, so you need not worry. Do follow up with your doctor to see if the vein has closed.
 

2061 people found this helpful

Laser Treatment For Hyperpigmentation Over Face!

MBBS, MD Dermatology, Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Bangalore
Laser Treatment For Hyperpigmentation Over Face!

Hyperpigmentation is a medical condition in which there is too much melanin in your skin. Melanin is a pigment that lends color to our skin. It is a natural substance but its concentration in our skin may increase beyond acceptable levels because of many factors like emotional stress, over-exposure to the sun or trauma to the skin. People with darker skin get affected more by hyperpigmentation. While hyperpigmentation is not a medical disease, many people affected by it want to get it treated because of cosmetic reasons. One line of treatment of hyperpigmentation is laser treatment.

History of laser treatment
Laser treatments for skin disorders are not new. They have been in vogue since 1964 for the removal of vascular birthmarks etc. Hyperpigmentation was also treated with lasers but the aftermath of this treatment was a scarred skin area.

Benefits of laser treatment
There are more benefits than risks when it comes to using lasers for treating this medical condition. Today, concentrated bursts of laser energy are used to target the affected areas of your skin. There are lesser chances of the skin getting scarred. An important side-benefit is boosting the growth of collagen production within your skin. Collagen is a protein and forms an important part of the connective tissue that holds the skin together and is also responsible for the skin glow.

Types of laser treatment

  1. CW lasers- Also known as Argon and Carbon dioxide lasers are used to treat large areas of the affected skin. Exposure to the laser is long and continuous.
  2. Quasi-CW- Unlike the earlier treatment, this one emits short bursts of laser energy. There is little chance of your skin getting scarred which is a significant risk in the case of CW lasers.
  3. Pulsed lasers- In this type of laser treatment, there are longer rest periods between bursts of energy. The intention is to give time to the skin to recover and heal from its exposure to the laser energy.

Please consult your dermatologist before undergoing one of these kinds of laser treatments.

Aftercare
Laser hyperpigmentation treatment can take as much as 35-40 minutes, maybe longer if the affected skin area is larger. Post the exposure of your skin to the laser bursts, it may become sensitive and develop a stinging sensation. It may also become swollen. Doctors advise the patients in such cases to avoid exposure to the sun, avoid application of sunscreen of 30 SPF and more and also to stay away from fragranced skin products.
Avoid any further treatment for the next four weeks after the first laser exposure. Generally, treatment for hyperpigmentation calls for multiple exposures to laser and these may last for several months until you have achieved your desired skin complexion.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4065 people found this helpful

Laser Treatment For Varicose Vein!

Dr.Tarwinder Singh Nagpal 86% (19ratings)
MS - General Surgery
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Bathinda
Laser Treatment For Varicose Vein!

Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged superficial veins that typically appear in the feet and legs.
For many people, the condition is simply a cosmetic concern while for others varicose veins include symptoms like swelling, discomfort and aching.

What Causes Varicose Veins?
Doctors believe that damaged or weak valves may cause varicose veins. Arteries carry oxygenated blood from your heart to other parts of the body and the veins send it back to your heart for recirculation. The veins of your lower body need to work against gravity in order to return the blood to your heart.
Muscle contractions in the extremities act as pumps while the elastic vein walls send blood back to the heart. Small valves open in your veins as blood flows to your heart, and then close again to prevent the blood from flowing back. If these valves become damaged or weak, blood may flow back and accumulate in the veins, causing it to twist or stretch.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins
You may experience the following signs if you have varicose veins –

• Discoloration of the veins – usually they appear blue or dark purple
• Legs feel heavy
Itching around the affected veins
Muscle cramps
• A throbbing, burning sensation
• Swelling and bruising
• Discomfort and pain the veins of the legs

The symptoms of varicose veins are quite prominent and require treatment. If the condition is not that severe, exercises and compression stockings may be prescribed to manage the symptoms. However, if you are looking for a long-term cure, laser treatment may be the best option for you.

Can Laser Treatment Cure Varicose Veins?
Your doctor may use highly focused laser beams to treat varicose veins. The laser emits heat, which forms scar tissues. The scar tissue closes the vein so it loses its source of blood and eventually dies. In a year or two, the vein is likely to disappear.

Here are the different types of laser treatment you can opt for –
• Simple Laser Treatment –
The laser beams are focused on the outer surface of the skin. It helps cure the tiny veins that are located just beneath the skin. Normally, more than one session of laser treatment is required. Your doctor may schedule you for a session every 6-12 weeks.

• Endovenous Laser Treatment – This type of laser treatment is directed towards treating larger varicose veins that appear in the legs. The doctor passes a laser fiber through a catheter (a long, thin tube) into the veins. While doing this, he/she keeps a close watch on the veins through a duplex ultrasound screen.

Laser treatment is less painful than other procedures like vein stripping and ligation. The entire procedure can be done while you are on local anesthesia or sedatives. Moreover, the time for recovery is relatively short. You can expect to get back to your routine activities in a week or two following laser treatment.

1021 people found this helpful

Dark Spots - Laser Treatment for it!

Dr.Arvind Kumar 91% (81ratings)
MD - Dermatology, MBBS
Dermatologist, Faridabad
Dark Spots - Laser Treatment for it!

Some people are lucky enough to get a dark spot in the exact place as Cindy Crawford's mole. For the not so lucky others, the only way out is to get rid of them. Zap it, buzz it and eliminate it permanently. One way to do it is with lasers. Laser is a focused beam of light that has just one colour. When directed towards a problem area on the skin, it destroys that particular pigment or tissue without affecting the surrounding areas. Laser is being used to treat brown spots, scars, unwanted hair follicles, and for tattoo removal. Lasers are also used to treat and remove brown and red spots, liver spots, age spots, sun spots, broken capillaries, birthmarks and angiomas.

Most women continue to lead a normal life with dark spots until they start feeling conscious about it. If dark spots are leading you to run from the sun and undervalue your looks, get them treated easily with laser.

  • How to choose your practitioner?: When you consult a doctor for treatment, the only way to know if the doctor is right for you is by asking a lot of questions. Ask them about their training and their experience in treating particular types of spots. Another wise thing to check is the number of lasers the clinic has. Some small set ups have just one type of laser, which they recommend to all their patients. It is not just a question of experience and skill but also trust, which will ultimately help you choose the right doctor for your treatment. Also, you may be tempted to try a particular laser treatment since it worked wonders for your friend. Refrain from doing so.
  • Types of laser treatment: Your type of treatment will typically be chosen depending on the severity of your dark spots - how dark they are, at what depth in the dermis do they occur, what amount of area they cover, and how old they are. The dermis is six layers deep, so the depth where the spots start can determine what laser your face will need in order to get rid of them. If your spot is fairly new and is only on the top layer, the doctor will start with the first level. Because laser can reach deep down in the dermis, it works where other treatments don't. The treatment does involve a degree of pain and sore skin, but it can yield good results if done right.
  • Cost of laser treatment: Laser treatment will cost less than all the money you spend on over-the-counter skin lightening creams over years. It will also cost lesser than the amount of money you spend in buying high quality concealers over time. The cost will typically depend on the type of set up (spa or clinic) and the expertise of the practitioner.
2913 people found this helpful

Hyperpigmentation - Is Laser Treatment Beneficial?

MCh - Plastic Surgery, M.S. Gen. Surg., M.B.B.S.
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Pune
Hyperpigmentation - Is Laser Treatment Beneficial?

It is a condition that causes discoloration and discolored patches to appear on the skin. The color of one’s skin is determined by the production of melanin in the body, and hyperpigmentation is caused by a disproportionate production of melanin. People of any race or skin color can be affected by this condition. 

The most common pigmentation problems are brown sun spotsmelasmaage spots, and pigmented birthmarks.  Pigmentation issues very depending on the natural colour of the skin. Treatments include fade creams, IPL, Elos Aurora, lasertreatments like Fraxel Dual and in some cases biopsy or skin excision is required to exclude skin cancer such as melanoma.

Three skin irregularities caused by this condition are; Post Inflammatory hyperpigmentation, Lentigines (or sun spots) and Melasma.

  1. Treatment of brown sun spots: Many people have mottled brown spots, freckles and patches on their skin due to excess pigmentation. These are easily treated with medical grade Elos IPL or Fraxel Dual laser. There is a range of different causes of pigmentation. Treatments differ depending on what type of pigmentation is affecting your skin. The brown pigmentation is called melanin and is made by special cells in the skin called melanocytes. The main categories of pigmentation problem are freckles, age spots, (also called liver spots or sun spots) melasma and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. 
  2. Melasma: Women with a genetic predisposition to this condition or those with darker skin complexions and those who have a higher exposure to ultraviolet rays are most commonly affected by melasma. It is a condition that affects the areas of the skin that are most exposed to the sun. It involves female hormones and so women who are pregnant are generally affected by melasma. Melasma is blotchy areas of brown skin pigmentation on the face. Melasma, (also known as chloasma), appears as blotchy pale brownish pigmentation on the face, especially forehead, cheek and upper lip. It is more common on darker skin types. It is especially common in women aged 20-40 and is associated with pregnancy or taking the contraceptive pill or injection. It also happens in healthy, non-pregnant woman taking no medications and men using aftershave. Sun exposure following some cosmetics can cause a phototoxic reaction where the chemical substance absorbs UV light. The resulting pigmentation extends where sun and cosmetic use have coincided, for example down the neck, often more on the right side in countries that drive on the left. Melasma is more stubborn and unpredictable to treat than freckles or age spots because the melanocytes have become sensitized and continue to produce extra pigment with even the slightest hint of sun. Sun protection is an essential part of treatment. Melasma can be treated with Active FX Laser Resurfacing. It destroys up to 80% of melanin, efficiently, which is ideal for cases of melasma that cause excessive pigmentation of skin.
  3. Lentigines: Minute brown spots that appear on your face and body, which is the collective result of continuous exposure to the sun, photodamage or chronic sun damage, are called lentigines. The spots usually have a visibly distinct border and appear on areas most exposed to the sun such as the face and hands.

How is one affected by post inflammatory pigmentation?
If there is an excessive production of melanin in the body, it could then overflow to the surface of the skin; this is caused by an inflammation. Post inflammatory pigmentation is the formation of brown patches on the skin that are the result of infection, injury or other conditions. Patients who already have a skin problem are more likely to be affected by this condition.

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) occurs after injury to the skin from whatever cause and is far more prevalent in darker skin. PIH appears as a dark brown area over the area of the previous injury and is due to excess melanin being produced by melanocytes as a result of the inflammation. Typically PIH resolves over several months but can persist for 1-2 years and in some cases can be everlasting. Treatment is generally patience as it will resolve and treatments risk further inflammation and therefore further PIH.  However hydroquinone can be useful in some patients and others benefit from mild treatments of Elos Aurora, IPL or Fraxel Dual laser.

Treatment of freckles

Freckles are small flat brown marks on sun exposed areas. The medical term is ‘ephilide’ and they are an accumulation of melanin in the surface skin cells (keratinocytes). The tendency to form freckles is inherited and is often seen in red heads and younger people. Freckles usually fade in winter and reappear in summer.

They need no treatment except sun protection. They can also be faded by Elos IPL, but will reappear with sun exposure. No treatment can transform a skin which freckles, into one which tans evenly.  Of course, further sun exposure can bring the freckles out again so it is very important to apply a good sunscreen following treatment to maximise results.

How does laser treatment help to remedy hyperpigmentation?

  • Clear and Brilliant, Fraxel and Photofacial are three types of laser treatment that have been known to resolve hyperpigmentation.
  • Short bursts of energy and heat are produced by the laser and aimed at the cells that have a concentration of melanin. The excess melanin from these cells is then broken down and destroyed with the help of the laser.
  • Each case of hyperpigmentation varies, and their treatment varies on the extent of the condition as well. The treatment will be administered over a course of sessions.

Though these treatments are effective, one must always stay protected from damage due to overexposure to the sun, by wearing the sunscreen with the correct SPF and other sun gear.

3696 people found this helpful

Know How Laser Treatment Can Help Cure Hyperpigmentation Of Skin!

Dr.Ayesha Khan 92% (268ratings)
BUMS, Certificate Course Skin & Venereal Diseases, Certificate course of Trichology, Diploma in Medical Cosmetology, Diploma in Nutrition & Obesity Management
Dermatologist, Mumbai
Know How Laser Treatment Can Help Cure Hyperpigmentation Of Skin!

Acne is irritating not only when it is active, but even after it heals. This is because it leaves behind unpleasant scars and pigmentation. Laser therapy is the best-known way of dealing with these scars and pigmentation issues. It is a misconception that laser treatment is a new form of skin therapy. The laser is being used to treat pigmentation scars since 1964, however, the procedures have evolved significantly and become much more improved and effective.

How does laser therapy work?
Lasers direct intense amounts of monochromatic light at precise points on the skin. This light is emitted in short pulses. When this light hits the skin it heats the hemoglobin cells. The precision with which lasers direct this light ensures that surrounding cells are not affected.

By changing the amount of light, lasers can be used to address cells at varying depths of the skin. In the case of scars, they can destroy the excessive melanin deposits causing a scar. It can also boost collagen production.

In most cases, lasers used to treat skin issues are carbon dioxide or argon lasers. These are known as CW lasers. Laser therapy may be shortly pulsed or long pulsed. The difference between the two lies in the rest period between emitting bursts of light. The type of laser therapy used depends largely on the degree of scarring or hyperpigmentation.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Laser treatment-

  • One of the biggest advantages of this form of therapy is its precision. Laser therapy does not affect the surrounding cells. It is also a bloodless form of therapy that does not require any hospitalization. As compared to other forms of skin therapy for scarring such a dermabrasion, laser therapy does not increase a person’s risk of infection.
  • On the flip side, laser treatment does not work well with all types of scars or all skin types. Also, some people may require multiple sessions for results to be noticeable. In cases of scarring on dark skin, laser lights can wound the capillaries in the skin. As the skin in this area heals, it may become lighter than the surrounding skin. Laser treatment can also cause raised scars known as keloids when used to treat dark skin. These scars cannot be treated with laser therapy and require additional treatments. Laser treatment is also a little more expensive as compared to other forms of therapy.
  • If you choose to undergo laser treatment to remove scars and pigmentation, it is important to have realistic expectations. Do not expect your skin to be perfect after the procedure. While there will be an improvement, do not assume that 100% of scarring will be removed.
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