Dark spots, age spots, sun spots
Melanin gives the skin and hair its colour, and amongst other benefits, helps protect the skin against damaging UV light and absorbs heat from the sun. An overproduction of melanin leads to mottled uneven skin tone which can affect your self-esteem and quality of life. It can also cause anxiety, depression and other psychological problems in certain people.
You may not have deep frown lines or crow's feet, but if you feel like you're ageing, there is a good chance it's thanks to an uneven skin tone. We don’t mean small, freckles, but bigger, uneven brown patches on not only the face but hands, décolletage and shoulder areas. These ageing dark spots are known as pigmentation, caused by sun exposure and specifically the UVA rays which penetrate deep into your skin and cause ageing.
UVA stimulates your pigment cells called Melanocytes to manufacture the pigment called Melanin. This is responsible for your tan and also your unwanted dark patches. Sun spots may take up to 10-20 years to develop, so if you notice some showing now it could have been caused when you were a child. It is for this reason some pigmentation may take several treatments to eradicate as they are deeper in the skin.
Triggers of pigmentation in young women also include the contraceptive pill and pregnancy which alter the hormone levels. This together with sun exposure can result in patchy dark spots, often on the upper lip and forehead.
Skin Pigmentation Treatment
Vale Laser offer a free consultation to discuss the best course of treatment for you and answer any questions you may have. After this we will perform a skin patch test to ensure that you will not suffer an adverse reaction to the treatment and will advise on the aftercare.
When you come for your first pigmentation treatment you will have the procedure explained to you, and be provided with safety goggles to protect your eyes. Your skin will be cleansed and a cooling gel applied to help aid treatment.
The treatment is very quick and the number of treatments will depend on the severity of the pigmentation but will normally be reduced in 1 to 2 treatments.
How does it Work?
Our treatment works by delivering laser energy to target the pigment in the skin. The energy of the laser light travels harmlessly through the epidermis until it destroys the melanin in the skin. The melanin absorbs the light it rises slowly in temperature, destroying the pigmentation.
As the heat is not sustained, no damage occurs outside this area. The pigmented lesion may appear darker immediately and will develop a light crust, this is a good sign as it shows the laser has targeted the pigmentation successfully and will fade and rub off in 7 to 10 days. Swelling and erythema is not unusual but is only temporary.
Any discomfort is minimised with an ice pack.
This type of laser treatment is very effective and can achieve a dramatic lightening in the pigmentation. Multiple treatments are typically required for best results.
After the Treatment
The skin may appear red and swollen after the treatment, however this normally reduces within 24-48 hours. We recommend you have tan free skin before the treatment and protect the skin with SPF40 or higher.