Pigment changes on the skin, also known as pigmented lesions, can occur due to skin aging and they present aesthetic problem. These types of lesions occur in 50% of women and 20% of men older than 50 years. Since these signs of aging makes more person self-aware, there is a growing tendency to remove them. There are many different types of pigmented lesions that are substantially different in terms in their morphological and histological characteristics. For this reason, analysis and treatment of pigment in the skin always must be conducted by a specialized doctor.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is a common skin problem that causes certain areas or parts of the skin to become darker. Usually it is a harmless problem which is caused by excessive amounts of pigment, such as melanin in the skin. Hyperpigmentation affects both men and women, and is characterized by areas of darker skin. While it is most common in middle and later life, hyperpigmentation can also occur in younger people.
Why does it occur?
Some people are genetically more prone to hyperpigmentation (overactive melanin in the skin). There are large number of women who use birth control pills, and have no problems with pigmentation, while birth control pills cause pigmentation disorder in others. Genetically, the pigmentation is the way your skin behaves. Some people struggle with acne, some with extreme sensitivity or severe cutaneous dryness, while some are struggling with pigmentation. There is no magic wand that removes hyperpigmentation forever, but it can be significantly removed, with further recommendations on how to remain results.
Different types of pigmentation
Melasma is the change on the skin in the form of brown spots in adults. It usually affects both sides of the face, usually the cheeks, nose, forehead and upper lip. Melasma is most common in women and only 10% of the male population. This type of pigmentation often occurs in women who take birth control pills or have an active hormone contraceptive coil. Always strengthen when exposed to sunlight, artificial sources of UV radiation, almost always during the summer months.
In some pregnant women there tends to be excessive creation of melanin formation and skin problems known as chloasma or "mask of pregnancy", mostly on the face and sometimes on the abdomen. This problem can also be extended to a larger area and worsen by exposure to sunlight.
Stains from the sun (sun damage)
Stains from the sun, age spots are one form of the hyperpigmentation. They usually occur as a result of skin damage by sunlight. Small, dark spots are usually found on the hands or the face, the upper back, but can affect any part of the body exposed to the sun
Freckles are frequent and usually hereditary occurence on the skin. Although they are often considered attractive, some people want to reduce their visibility with various treatments
PIH or postinflammatory hyperpigmentation is a form of pigmentation, which usually occurs after some type of injury of the skin. It may arise after acne, injuries or other damage to the skin, after preagresivnog treatment or use of inadequate skin care products.
Laser removal of hyperpigmentation and other pigment changes
Removal of pigmented lesions of the skin ensures minimum risk, and gentle and painless treatments to our clients with very good results. At Poliklinika Bagatin we use lasers in Asclepion Laser Technologies which alone or in combination with other treatments give excellent results. If it takes a while, depending on the type of the pigment changes, it is possible to combine some of the non-invasive treatment that person may help in reducing the dark blobs on the skin.
If you struggle with pigment changes in the skin such as dark spots and age spots, then you are a candidate for laser. Before each treatment, our specialists of dermatology will examine you and see if you are a candidate for this treatment.
Prior to treatment, skin must be thoroughly cleaned and dried, make-up needs to removed, as well as creams, oils or self-tanning products. The area that will be subject to treatment should not be exposed to sunlight or tanning bed up to 2 weeks before treatment.
The laser removal of pigmented lesions is not complicated procedure and there is no need for local anesthesia. The handle of the laser is pressed against the skin, and after activation of the light pulse client might feel a little sting. After the treatment, the treated area has a white look. The laser beam penetrates the skin, and the top layer of skin and melanin pigment absorbs the light energy. Thermal effect rapidly heats melanin, which separates from the dermis. After that, pigmented lesion is easily removed with sterile gauze. After the treatment, there might be redness of the skin and light crust that disappears within 5-7 days. The next treatment, if required, can be after 4 to 6 weeks.
Immediately after the treatment, the area that was exposed to the laser light will be red and sore. You can put ice on red skin to ease the feeling and to speed up recovery. Skin usually completely calms overnight and you can use standard products for skin care and make-up the next day.
Avoid direct exposure to the sun and tanning bed at least 10-15 days after treatment, do not apply soap directly to the treated area if your skin is still red, and also do not rub your face first few days after treatment.
Usual side effects are redness and swelling that lasts for 24-48 hours. Less frequent side effects are changes in pigmentation, swelling and appearance of scabs. The above mentioned side effects are very rare and usually last a few days. After treatment it is necessary to avoid the sun at least 10-15 days, and use sunscreens with SPF 50+.
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