Pigmentation describes the color of the skin, which is determined by the amount of melanin in the body. When excessive melanin is produced, the result can be skin darkening, which is also known as hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation can involve a very small area of skin, such as age spots or sun freckles. It can also refer to larger areas of darkening, such as the skin patches of hyperpigmentation known as melasma.
Sun exposure is a common source of hyperpigmentation and can appear on skin long after we have damaged it. Usually the results from our neglectful youth pop up later in life. Sun damage presents itself as brown spots on the skin or an overall weathered look. The IPL aperture with our Icon laser can be used to reduce the look of dark spots and give the skin an over all healthier look. Depending on the severity and depth of the sun damage our Smartskin laser can also be coupled with the Icon. Down time will vary depending on which laser is right for your specific skin needs.
About the Procedure
The Cynosure Elite laser is effective for treating hyperpigmentation and pigmented lesions below the skin’s surface, since concentrated laser energy can penetrate the surface of the skin without damaging surrounding skin and tissue. Most pigmented lesions can be removed with 1 or 2 treatments. Laser treatments are performed in the office and may take less than an hour to complete with no downtime afterward.
Recovery and Typical Results
Redness is likely and mild blistering is possible. The pigmented area will darken then become crusty and will flake off. Do not pick at or peel the area, as it can lead to scarring. The treatment area will usually complete a sloughing process within 2 weeks. The use of sunscreen is advised after any laser treatments. Results from these treatments can be seen right away, and continue to improve as cell renewal occurs.