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.