Pigmented lesions such as age spots or freckles can be successfully lightened or removed with Laser or Intense Pulsed Light. Birthmarks and other deeper, larger areas of pigmentation can be successfully treated with a Q-Switched Laser system. All of these treatments are non-invasive, suitable for both the face and body and will result in a more even skin tone.
How do Intense Pulsed Light and Lasers work?
Intense Pulsed Light systems release short pulses of filtered light that is readily absorbed by the high concentration of melanin found within freckles, sun spots or liver spots. The rapid absorption of light energy heats the melanin and causes the destruction of the melanin-rich cells.
How is the Treatment Carried Out?
With Intense Pulsed Light treatments, a layer of chilled gel is applied to the treatment area. The light applicator is placed on the skin and a short pulse of light is released. The applicator is then moved to the neighbouring area and the process is repeated until the entire area is treated. The chilled gel is removed and the area cooled. No gel is required for the Q-Switched Laser treatments, however, due to the power of the Laser energy delivered into the skin, a small amount of pin point bleeding may occur during the treatment and a dressing may be applied after the treatment to protect the skin whilst it heals. During treatment, protective eye wear is provided.
Am I Suitable for Treatment?
Most people are suitable for treatment except for very dark skinned or tanned individuals. However, large, dark, mottled or raised pigmentation cannot be treated and may need to be checked by a dermatologist. Large, dark moles should not be treated, nor should lesions covering a large part of the body. The pigmented marks that respond the best are superficial lesions such as those caused by sun damage (sun spots) and freckles.
How Does the Treatment Feel?
Most patients describe the discomfort as mild and tolerable and no anesthesia is required.
What Should I expect after the Treatment?
The treated area may feel warm and sensitive for the first few days post treatment. With Intense Pulsed Light treatments, the lesions will darken and may appear more obvious before they fade and ‘flake’ away. With laser treatment, an initial whitening of the area is seen which quickly fades and the pigment gradually fades over the following few weeks.
Are There any Side Effects?
The skin that surrounds the pigmented lesion may become red immediately after treatment. Most people experience no other side effects and the redness usually disappears within hours to a few days. Very rarely, a small blister may form or the skin may become temporarily lighter or darker.
How Long does each Treatment Take?
The length of each treatment will depend on the type and size of lesion present, but a typical session will take 10 to 30 minutes to treat.
How Many Treatments are Necessary?
The number of treatments will depend on the type and size of the pigmented lesion, but typically 1 to 3 sessions are required at 4 to 6 week intervals.
Prior to treatment, you must first undergo a consultation where details about your medical history are obtained in order to confirm suitability. Before proceeding you will be asked to sign a consent form and undergo a skin patch test.