Laser therapy can be a minimally invasive method to treat pigmented lesions of the skin.
Pigmented lesions: an annoying blemish
Pigmented lesions, such as sunspots, are becoming more and more common in the older population. Age spots occur in 50% of women over 50 years old and 20% of men over the same age. These signs of aging are increasingly being seen as annoying, and the readiness to remove them privately is also growing.
Pigmented lesions come in many different types, which differ from each other in terms of their histological and morphological characteristics. The evaluation and possible treatments for pigmented lesions should always be reserved to doctors with specialist knowledge for this reason.
Benign pigmented lesions such as lentigo simplex and lentigo senilis can be treated with laser devices. These are more commonly known as age and sun spots, among others. Pico and Nano lasers give short light pulses which are selectively absorbed by the skin pigment melanin thanks to their specific wavelength. The laser treatment is conducted on an out-patient basis, with or without a local anesthetic, and the treatment itself is uncomplicated.
How It Works
At the Brantford Laser Clinic, we assist our clients to achieve the beautiful unblemished skin they’ve always wanted.
Choosing the right wavelength: a decisive factor for the success of the treatment
When determining which colour pigments may be treated and which do not respond well to treatment, a decisive factor is the type of laser used. The lasers that work in the near-infrared range and have proved themselves to be deployable in practice nearly universally are the Ruby lasers. These are well-suited for the treatment of natural pigmented lesions due to the strong absorption of the ruby laser beam by the skin pigment melanin. Treatment is generally given without an anesthetic and only in rare cases is a local anesthetic given to patients.
The light’s wavelength of either the Nd:YAG or Ruby laser is absorbed by the colour pigments of the lesion specifically. The coloured particles from the connective tissue are fragmented by the transferred energy from the laser. Lymphatically and epidermally, the fragmented partials degraded. Immediately following treatment, the irradiated area of skin appears whitish for 10 to 20 minutes. A slight crust forms, but will slough off naturally a week or two.
Ablative lasers may also be used to treat pigmented lesions. It is necessary to differentiate between vaporization with the QuadroStarPRO YELLOW and “cold ablation” with the MCL31 Dermablate Erbium:YAG.
The colour of the pigments are absorbed when the laser beam penetrates through the upper layer of the skin. Lasting only nanoseconds, the high-energy laser pulses of our lasers don’t cause any coincident thermal damage to the surrounding tissue as they are absorbed by the pigment particles selectively. The laser irradiation fragments the ink particles and the body’s own lymph system removes the broken-down ink.
There is no medical treatment that is risk-free completely. Generally, laser-treatment is very low-risk. Hyper-pigmentation or lightening of the skin may occur temporarily. All these effects will disappear in a few weeks or months and are reversible.
Once the distance holder of the laser handpiece is placed on the skin and the laser is activated via the foot switch, a light impulse is sent, resulting in a pricking feeling. The handpiece of the laser moves over to the other areas to be treated. The treated area will display blisters and appear white, which some call the “popcorn effect” immediately after treatment. A strong sensation of wheals or warmth or redness of the skin may occur following treatment. The treated areas may darken and a small crust may form after a few hours, but within a few days should clear up.
Brantford Laser Clinic’s Pico and Nano laser can safely and effectively remove a variety of pigmented lesions including Ephelides, Lentigines, Naevus of Ito/Ota and tattoos.
Following treatment, cool the treated area for as long as it’s comfortable. If crusts form, be sure to leave them alone. For at least six weeks, protect the treated areas tanning salons, intensive light, or sunlight. If you stay outside longer, use suntan cream. Contact your doctor immediately if skin changes not named above occur.