Can all skin types with excess pigmentation be treated with laser therapy?
Only people with fair skin can be treated for excess pigmentation.
Which types of pigmentation can be treated with laser therapy?
The most common disorders of increased pigmentation are melasma (chloasma), solar lentigos (sun spots) and freckles. Solar Lentigos, the brown spots that appear in sun exposed areas like the tops of the hands and face, are the most common pigmentation problem that we treat. All the other disorders can also be treated very successfully with laser therapy.
What are the advantages of laser pigment removal over other treatment options?
Liquid nitrogen therapy tends to leave white scars that can be very unsightly. Recurrent use of liquid nitrogen results in a very spotty look with multiple brown areas intermingled with white spots. The healing process following liquid nitrogen therapy is also messy with frequent blistering that can’t be camouflaged with cosmetics.
Depigmenting creams tend to work slowly and will only very rarely result in satisfactory results.
How successful is laser pigment removal?
Most patients will need between 1 and 3 treatment sessions, depending on the degree of pigmentation and the specific disorder that is treated. A 50-90% reduction in pigmentation can be expected.
Can any part of the body be treated?
What happens during a treatment session?
The eyes are covered with goggles and a thin layer of gel is applied to the treatment area. The laser is placed on your skin and you will be aware of a series of bright flashes as the laser is moved over the treatment area.
What happens after the treatment session?
Most patients experience an initial darkening of the pigmented areas immediately after the treatment. This reaction is a confirmation that the pigment was successfully targeted by the laser. Over the next day or two the pigmented areas develop a mottled brown look that will gradually fade away over the following week or two. Any of the pigmented areas can be easily camouflaged with base while the effects of the laser fades.
Is the treatment painful?
The treatment is uncomfortable, but 99% of people tolerate the treatment quite easily. If someone has an unusual sensitivity to the laser treatment then appropriate analgesics will be prescribed.
Will the pigmented areas come back?
If the underlying cause of the problem persist, like continual excessive sun exposure, then the pigmentation can reappear over time. Every patient is therefore given a post treatment plan to minimize the chance of the pigmentation returning.
What does the laser pigment removal treatment cost?
It depends on the size of the area that needs treatment. As a general guideline, a full-face treatment will cost between R1500 and R2200.
Before & After
Here are some more Before & After photos.