Almost everyone will have some form of skin pigmentation during their life. In Australia, skin pigmentation and lesions are extremely common. Being constantly exposed to the sun, especially without any protection, allows UV rays to penetrate deeply causing the ageing process to speed up, including the appearance of skin pigmentation. Skin pigmentation comes in the form of age or sun spots, freckles, moles or large patches of lighter or darker skin. Basically, it’s a discolouration or irregularity of the skin. If you have pigmentation problems, Dr Lionel Chang may have the answer…Dr Lionel Chang, Plastic Surgeon based in Burwood, NSW, and his clinic see patients on a daily basis with pigmented lesions often caused by excessive sun exposure, and says it’s important to understand how much damage the UV rays can do on your skin not only for aesthetic reasons but for the increased risk of cancer. UV rays stimulate melanocytes, or your skin’s pigment cells, to produce melanin which is responsible for those darker patches. Sunspots can take up to 20 years to develop so if you notice these spots showing up, then they could very well have have started developing in your childhood.
Skin pigmentation and uneven skin tone in young women can also be triggered by hormones, pregnancy and contraceptives. When combined with excessive sun exposure, the skin can create dark patches, commonly seen on the forehead and the upper lip. That is why there is a little-paid-attention-to warning on the Pill for women to limit their sun exposure.
There can also be other causes, such as genetics – if one of your parents has heaps of moles, you are more likely to as well. Whatever the cause, there is a solution.
What is the treatment for Pigmentation?
Laser can deal with a myriad of skin issues. Any area on your body can be treated with laser technology. The most common areas to deal with pigmentation are the face, hands, neck, shoulders, and decollage (or the chest) – areas that are often exposed to the sun.
Laser works by producing short nanosecond pulses of light that pass through the top layers of skin and are absorbed by the melanin pigment in the lesion. The light is transformed into photoacoustic waves which then break up the melanin pigment into smaller particles allowing your body’s own immune system to remove them.
Is laser treatment safe?
In the hands of a qualified and experienced practitioner such as Michele from Dr Chang’s clinic, laser for pigmentation should not damage the surrounding tissue or cause any adverse reactions. The wavelength of the laser used is the most important thing for the practitioner to get right, as it determines which level of your skin is targeted. Different wavelengths are used for different skin issues. Michelle says it’s important to that your practitioner assess your skin during your consultation in order to plan the best treatment program for you. “It can be customised to suit your skin type. But it’s very, very effective, and you’ll notice the results after your first treatment.”
In conclusion, lasers are a simple, fast and effective tool for removing a wide variety of pigmented lesions such as freckles, age spots, birthmarks, moles and certain vascular lesions and melasma.
If you’d like more information on Dr Lionel Chang, Michele or laser for pigmentation, give their clinic a call on (02) 9744 6755, or check out the blogs below: