laser treatment for facial pigmentation

Facial pigmentation is a very common problem. The best possible treatment for your skin depends on the type of pigment, age of the patient and severity of the problem.

A combination of various modalities of treatment will be the best in order to achieve the optimal result for you.  This may include laser treatment with a combination of cream and oral medications.  The Nd yag laser is one of the most effective lasers for treatment of facial pigment.

Skin pigmentation including freckles is caused by excessive production of skin pigment or melanin by cells in the skin called melanocytes. The melanocytes provide natural skin protection against the sun rays and gives us the colour of our skin. When melanocytes overproduce melanin, excess melanin results in uneven deposits on the skin, resulting in uneven skin tone.  While skin tone is mainly genetic, the melanocytes will also be stimulated to produce extra pigments in cases such as sun, chemicals, hormones, trauma and congenital birth marks.

Skin cream lightens the pigments in the skin by suppressing the production of melanin. Sunblock also reduces the effect of the UV rays thereby reducing production of melanin.  Various oral medications such as tranexamic acid will also suppress production.  Vitamin C is a common ingredient of skin cream which brightens the skin in addition to its antioxidant effect. Vitamin C is commonly used with glutathione as an infusion for skin brightening.  However, suppression of production of melanin will take a very long time to correct the pigmentation.

The Nd yag laser works by shattering the melanin molecules through selective photothermolysis. The wavelength of the Nd yag lasers are targeted to destroy the melanin pigments, which are then removed by the body defense mechanisms. The laser is more effective than just using the traditional methods of pigment cream. The laser treatment will also results in general tightening of the skin, lifting, reduction of pores as well as stimulation of skin collagen. As a result, the laser treatment will not only solve pigmentation problems but also improves the complexion.

The settings on the laser machine will have to be adjusted to the type of pigments, skin and as well as the depth of the skin pigments.  Fractional C02 lasers are used for patient whose pigments are mainly superficial.  However, unlike the Nd yag laser which has no down time for patients, the fractional CO2 may cause some down time for recovery. The Nd yag laser is the main laser used for the treatment of skin pigmentation.