Age spots, brown spots, pigmentation marks – whatever you want to call them, no one wants them! We asked DR CHARLOTTE YUNG from Aesthetic Healthcare Holdings a few questions about the different types, plus pigmentation removal and treatments.
What causes pigmentation?
Pigmentation may be congenital, which means a baby is born with it, or it may be acquired later in life. The more common acquired pigmented lesions are caused by sunlight, inflammation in the skin, drugs that increase a person’s sensitivity to sunlight and hormonal changes like when a woman takes oral contraception, becomes pregnant or reaches menopause.
Are there different types of pigmentation?
Yes, there are different types of pigmented lesions, which differ in their appearance. Some occur as a single patch and some occur as a group of small or large patches.
How can we get rid of it?
The type of pigmentation treatment depends on the diagnosis. Aggravating factors like prolonged exposure to sunlight or the presence of skin inflammation should be addressed. The daily use of sunscreen is extremely important. And causes of inflammation like eczema or acne should be treated.
Pigmentation as a result of the over-production of melanin like melasma, freckles, lentigines and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation may be treated with the application of lightening creams. These work by preventing the production of melanin.
Lasers and light treatment break up melanin and are also used to pigmentation treatments.
What is PicoSure laser and how does it work?
PicoSure is the first picosecond laser designed for the treatment of pigmented lesions. It’s also used for skin rejuvenation treatment and for tattoo removal. PicoSure features advanced technology that delivers intense laser energy in trillionths of a second, which spares the skin high thermal damage. It means pigmented lesions can be optimally targeted with minimal thermal damage on account of the picosecond pulse duration. ThePicoSure laser also has a FOCUS lens that helps new collagen formation without disrupting the epidermis. PicoSure has received validation in journals, with 26 publications and 59 abstracts to date (cynosure.com).
How many sessions does it take for pigmentation removal?
The number of sessions depends on the type of pigmentation. Some spots may clear with a single treatment; others may need a few sessions.
Are some areas easier to treat than others?
As long as the area is easily accessible, the treatment response is the same whether the pigmentation is located on the face or back.
Are there any times when it’s dangerous to do pigmentation removal or treatments?
Yes, pigmentation treatments should not be done on skin that is sunburnt or had recent prolonged sun exposure.
This article first appeared in the July 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!