Freckles, “age spots”, “liver spots”, and various birthmarks are just a few of the commonly known marks, generally referred to as pigmented lesions. Although most brown spots are easily ignored, many are quite conspicuous and can detract from your skin’s natural beauty.
Melanin is what gives our skin its color. Dark or light complexioned, we all have varying amounts of melanin. Pigmented lesions are dark in color simply because melanin is abnormally concentrated in one area of the skin. High concentrations of melanin can be due to various factors. Some types are present at birth, but most occur with age or as a result of overexposure to the sun’s damaging rays.
Lightening these brown discolorations and eliminating them provides dramatic rejuvenation and even skin tone.
At least 80% of all common pigmented lesions are removed with one treatment. If a lesion covers a large area, we may want to treat the area in several stages, to avoid unnecessary discomfort.
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 with similar results.
Why Doesn’t The Laser Remove My Normal Skin Pigmentation Also?
The laser was designed for its properties that selectively target dark concentrations of melanin. If after the abnormal concentrations of melanin was removed, and treatment continued on normal skin, some whitening could occur. However, your body’s natural regenerative system would replace the normal melanin after a period of time, returning the skin to its natural state.
The sensation described by many is that it is similar to the snap of a thin rubber band. However, we also use a cold air chiller on the area simultaneously to reduce the sensation. After the treatment, the area will be slightly raised and the darker lesion may turn purple until your body reabsorbs the color. Think of the coloration as a bruise that your body will get rid of within about 7-10 days.
A lentigo (plural lentigines) is a small, pigmented flat or slightly raised spot with a clearly defined edge that is surrounded by normal-appearing skin. Lentigo or lentigines may evolve slowly over years usually secondary to sun exposure, or they may appear suddenly. They may occur anywhere on the body and vary in colour from tan-brown to black. Viewed under the microscope a lentigo shows an increased number of normal melanocytes (skin cells that produce the pigment melanin that produces skin colour). Melanocytes appear to replace keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis. Although lentigines are benign (non-cancerous) by nature they must be carefully examined to differentiate them from early pigmented skin cancers such as melanoma.