Laser for Pigmentation

Laser uses a specific wavelength of light at different frequencies and depths to treat skin pigmentation.

At MoS we can provide pigment treatment by a number of modalities.

What is pigmentation?

Pigmentation is a common concern and one that can be difficult to treat. There are actually many different types of pigmentation and ensuring this is correctly diagnosed is essential to management. Treating pigmentation incorrectly can actually irreversibly worsen the pigmentation.

What causes skin pigmentation?

The main cause of pigmentation is the sun. Hormones and genetics can also cause pigmentation, and so can inflammation or scarring, such as after acne. Pigmentation can be superficial in the top layer of skin or sit deeper in the dermis.

What is laser treatment for pigmentation?

Laser is a modality that can be used to treat different types of skin pigmentation. Laser uses a specific wavelength of light at different frequencies and depths to treat skin pigmentation. The wavelength is specifically attracted to the brown in the pigment, which selectively heats and smashes into tiny pieces that are removed by the body’s immune and lymphatic system, whilst leaving the surrounding tissues unharmed.  This procedure helps to reduce the appearance of age spots, pigmentation, melasma and freckles on the skin.

Laser for face pigmentation 

At MoS, we have a few lasers that can treat pigment, which we combine to give ultimate results. It also means we can treat all the different types of pigment, including Melasma and pigmentation on darker skin types. Our treatment also includes a collagen-inducing step to help tighten and plump the skin and reduce any surface textural irregularities, leaving skin fresh and glowing.

What are the benefits of using laser to treat pigmentation?

Laser is a great way to be really specific over the pigmentation treated. It allows isolated lesions, big or small, to be treated with ease. It can treat pigmentation in different skin layers and results can occur very quickly.

How is this pigment treatment performed?

The skin being treated will be cleaned. You will then be given some eye protection in the form of goggles or eye stickers. The laser will then be used to treat the areas of concern. The laser may use a cooling system too, to reduce discomfort. This blows cold area onto the surface layer of skin to cool it. The procedure is relatively comfortable and may feel like an elastic band flicking the skin. It can take about 30 minutes.

Who is a good candidate/what age should treatment start?

The laser is best used on those aged 16 and over. Treatment can be started at any time, however a skincare regime may first be started to get optimal results.  Laser is great for Fitzpatrick skin types 1-2 (white skin). Those with darker skin may not be able to have laser and other options may have to be chosen or the laser is performed at a more gentle setting, so results can take longer to achieve.

What other skin treatments work well with this?

Laser is a great modality for the reduction of pigmentation. It also has the added benefits of general skin rejuvenation leading to a clearer, softer, more luminous and glowing skin. To optimize the treatments results, a home skincare regime will be recommended. LED treatments and facials can help the skin recover better after laser treatments.

Laser pigmentation aftercare

For the 24 hours after the treatment:

Refrain from hot showers, exercise, harsh cleansers and exfoliants.
Only apply post treatment cream that is advised by your clinician.

Also, for the next 30 days: 

Avoid sun exposure and wear sunblock daily (physical SPF preferred).
Avoid chemical peels, microdermabrasion and Vitamin A.
Mineral make up may be applied on the second day.

You may notice tiny encrustation spots which will fall off in due course (this can take up to two weeks, please do not touch them or pick them off). Please avoid scratching, picking and touching the area. Men should also avoid shaving for 7 days.

Laser for Pigmentation FAQ

What areas does pigmentation laser treat/what does it treat?

Laser can be used to treat pigmentation on any skin surface.

What preparation do I need before having pigmentation removal?

Please arrive at the clinic with clean skin, no lotions, creams, perfumes, powders and no makeup on.

Please ensure you have not had any active tanning in the last 2 weeks.

Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to protect your skin.

Ensure all spray tan is removed from the skin.

If you have a risk of cold sores, start taking antivirals 2 days before the procedure.

Do not consume alcohol on the day of the procedure.

Drink plenty of water for the 48 hours leading up to the procedure.

Do not have any other facial laser, IPL or RF treatments on the skin for 2 weeks before your treatment.

If you are unwell or have any skin infections on the areas to be treated, please call us to reschedule your appointment.

Please stop any retinols (Vitamin A) treatments 1 week before the treatment.

Is it painful?

The procedure is comfortable. Some may feel a flicking sensation. A cooler can be used if required.

How long does the procedure take?

The length of the procedure varies on the amount of skin pigmentation present. Most treatments take 20- 40 minutes.

Is there any downtime after skin pigmentation treatment?

There is some downtime involved. Generally, the pigment treated will turn darker in colour, which can last up to a week. Sometimes it forms a mild crust, other times it will just gradually fade. The lesions may also get some red dots in them, a type of mild bruising. The following days you can also get some mild redness and swelling. For most the downtime is minimal and doesn’t last long, however it does depend on the level of treatment given on the day.

How many treatments are required?

Most require 2-3 treatments to reduce the pigmentation. Pigmentation can return easily if the skin is triggered by sun, hormones or inflammation, so maintenance treatments may be required via laser, skincare or other modalities.

How long does the result last and when should it be repeated?

The results are permanent, however pigmentation can return easily if the skin is triggered by sun, hormones or inflammation, so maintenance treatments may be required via laser, skincare or other modalities. Additionally, you will need to use an SPF daily and it may also be recommended that you use a pigment suppressing cream during the treatment period and / or afterwards.

Are there any side effects?

All laser treatments come with risks of possible side effects. These are reduced with good pre and post care

Common side effects are:

Redness, swelling, no change, recurrence of the pigmentation

Rarer side effects of laser in general include:

Blistering, bruising, tenderness, burning, and pain

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation

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Book an appointment online or call the clinic on 5261 6171 to arrange an appointment.

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