Pigmentation and Melasma Treatment
Many of us have endured sunburns; the acute form of Sun damage to the skin, the reality is that the effects of sun-damaged skin increase with age. Over time we note the gradual changes (chronic) in our skin caused by the accumulation of sun exposure.
The pleasing bronze skin colour that they achieved as a teenager was desirable then; but now they are dissatisfied with skin damage arising from that over exposure.
Chronic sun damage results in either a cosmetic change in the skin’s appearance called “photo-aging”, which is evidenced by brown spots and other unsightly marks, or changes that are of medical and health concern such as skin cancers and pre-cancerous lesions.
What Causes Skin Pigmentation?
Melanin gives our skin its colour, whether dark or light complexioned, we all have varying amounts of melanin in our skin. Pigmented lesions are dark in colour simply because the melanin has become abnormally localized and concentrated in one area of the skin. High concentrations of melanin arise from several causes. Some types are present at birth, but most pigmentation occurs as a result of overexposure to the sun’s damaging rays, ageing, hormonal change (Chloasma) arising from several causes including some oral contraceptives, or pregnancy (Melasma).
We are now very aware of the adverse effects of over exposure to the sun and modern sun screens and other skin care products are directed at preventing, or at least minimising, damage to our skin arising from normal exposure and from “sun-bathing”.
While protection from the sun remains the best prevention from sun spots and related sun-damage skin disorders, there are treatments available for those already suffering from “photo-aging”, although most brown spots are easily ignored, many are quite conspicuous and can detract from your skin’s natural beauty and your feelings of well-being and esteem. Pigmentation removal depends on the type, location, and cause of the pigmentation.
Solar lentigos, As the name indicates, this is a direct result of sun exposure — the skin is reacting to the UV (Ultra Violet) rays from the Sun. Many of us have endured sunburns; the acute form of Sun damage to the skin, the reality is that the effects of sun-damaged skin increase with age. Over time, we note the gradual changes (chronic) in our skin caused by the accumulation of sun exposure.
Chloasma occurs quite commonly in women taking oral contraceptive tablets. The skin pigmentations usually develop slowly but may be noticed shortly after starting oral contraception or changing the brand or dosage strength, but may also occur after many months of use.
Melasma is triggered by sunlight and the incidence increase with age. Another important contributing factor is hormonal changes. Melasma is also called “mask of pregnancy” because it appears during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth. Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy are known to aggravate pre-existing Melasma.
This can occur from skin trauma, infection, or inflammation as well as: acne, burns, inappropriate use of skin peels, other skin products,. Some chemical and mechanical treatments intended to improve the appearance of your skin can have an adverse effect over time or when incorrectly applied. Here are some examples of Dermal and Epidermal conditions which we often treat at Excellence Clinic:
- Solar lentigos
- Cafe-au-Lait Macules
- Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation and Dyschromia.
Treatment For Pigmentation Removal
Correct analysis is important to ensure that you receive the best most appropriate therapeutic treatment. The pigment can be near the surface – which is easier to remove or deeper in the skin – which is harder to remove. At Excellence Clinic we understand the distress and embarrassment that skin pigmentation can cause, particularly the darker blemishes and especially when covering larger parts of the visible skin.
The Q-Switch Laser is the most effective resource for Treatment of Deep Skin (dermal) and Superficial (epidermal) pigmented blemishes and lesions. Excellence Clinic has the equipment, experience, training and qualifications to provide safe an effective treatment of most types of pigmented blemishes and lesions.
Excellence Clinic has chosen the Q-Switch Laser for its proven effectiveness arising from the combination of high power and nanosecond pulses that deliver peak energy throughout the layers of the epidermis faster than the normal relaxation time of the tissue. The result is a safe, effective way to control the laser energy and safely achieve desired results. Laser has been engineered to remove.
It has two wavelengths in one laser, these are 532nm and 1064nm Nd: YAG. These wavelengths add flexibility to the treatment options for the skin blemishes and lesions that the Q-Switch, as with all Laser therapy treatments, the frequency and number of treatments will depend on your skin type, the area affected and the size of that area.
Contact Excellence Clinic to arrange a free consultation to discuss a treatment plan that suits your needs.
Treatment Of Melasma /Chloasma
While Melasma /Chloasma causes no symptoms other than the cosmetic discolouration, it can be distressing since it usually presents on the face, including the upper cheek, nose, upper lip, and forehead.
Types And Causes Of Melasma
Many clients present with Melasma more often and especially women when pregnant or using contraceptives or taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Some genetic link is indicated by the more frequent presentation of Melasma among men and women of German, Russian and Asian ancestry.. Melasma is also seen to darken over time and with sun exposure making it more noticeable as we age.
For Melasma that arises from pregnancy or using contraceptives or taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT); the discoloration usually reduces over a period of several months after giving birth or cessation of the oral contraceptives or HRT. For Melasma not associated with pregnancy, contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy, a range of treatments to reduce the prominence of the discolouration are available.
Benefits Of The Q-Switched Laser For Treating Melasma
The inherent nature of Melasma does make treatment a challenge since Melasma is a mixed dermal (deep) and epidermal (superficial) form of skin pigmentation. The pigmentation develops through these layers of the skin, effective treatment of Melasma has previously been difficult to achieve. While there are several other treatments available for reducing the discolouration of Melasma, therapeutic Laser treatment is increasingly being recommended as a safe and effective therapy for Melasma.
A substantial body of opinion has developed revealing that Q-switched lasers used by Excellence Clinic are especially effective because the machine can deliver 2 classes of therapeutic laser. The ability to deliver different laser forms, appropriate for the various types of lesion is especially necessary for treating Melasma because it presents as dermal (deep) and epidermal (superficial) pigmentation. It allows the operator to select:
- A wavelength of 532nm suitable for treatment of near surface (epidermal) skin pigmentations, as well as
- A wavelength of 1064nm that is more suitable for treatment of pigmentations in the dermal (deep) layer of the skin.
At Excellence Clinic we understand the distress and embarrassment that skin blemishes such as melasma can cause. Excellence Clinic therapists have established that the Q-Switch is the most effective resource for treatment of skin blemishes such as Melasma, because of the functional ability to select and deliver the laser wavelength best suited to the depth of the discolouration.
Excellence Clinic therapists have the experience, training and qualifications to provide safe and effective treatment of all types of skin pigmentations. Contact us to arrange a free consultation to discuss a treatment plan that suits your needs. Our experience shows that 8-10 treatments weekly will ensure significant improvement and in some cases complete fading of Melasma. One maintenance treatment every 8 weeks is recommended to maintain achieved results.
What will my skin look like after the treatment ?
The surrounded skin will look slightly pink and the treated lesion may appear darker. The redness will subside within 2 – 4 hours.If your treatment required down time, slight redness may remain for a few days (3 – 5 days). It can be easily be covered with makeup. The redness will eventually subside.
Are There Any Precautions To Take During Treatment?
Melasma is a dermal condition and has a tendency to reappear especially due to the sun exposure. Meticulous use of sunscreen is a must! As with all laser treatment, you must avoid exposure to direct sunlight before treatment, during treatment and for some weeks following treatment.