How Does Laser Treatment Work on Skin Pigmentation?

Laser Treatment for Skin

Laser Treatment for Skin Pigmentation


Dermatologists often recommend laser therapy to treat the signs of ageing or dermatoses, such as hyperpigmentation and acne scars. This article explains how laser therapy works and describes the different types of laser treatment. We explore what could be the possible alternatives and the best way to care for the skin and help regenerate it after laser treatment.

What is laser therapy?

The word LASER is an abbreviation for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. This definition describes the way in which the laser works: light rays artificially generated, controlled and used to penetrate human tissue to correct a series of medical and aesthetic problems.
In summary, the problem areas of the skin are tapped with high energy light. This light is transformed into heat and works in the desired area. Softer treatments target the epidermis of the skin (the superficial layer), while the more intense can penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.

What are the different types of laser treatment?

There are many types of laser treatments for skin pigmentation as well as for other aesthetic purposes, but they can be grouped into two broad categories: ablative and non-ablative lasers.

Ablative lasers:

Ablation is a medical term used to describe the removal of material from the surface of a structure by an erosive process. The treatment with ablative laser is defined by the fact that it removes the upper layers of the skin and in this way the skin may take a few weeks to heal after treatment.
Often, ablative lasers are used to reduce scars. They are also used to treat wrinkles, as it can stimulate the production of collagen. There are two different types of ablative lasers: carbon dioxide and erbium lasers.

Non-ablative lasers:

Non-ablative lasers leave the surface of the skin intact so that, although some redness may appear after treatment, the skin usually recovers quickly. Because they act below the surface of the skin, they are particularly effective at eliminating varicose veins, reducing pigmentation problems, treating fine lines and wrinkles, and removing unwanted hair and tattoos. There are several types of non-ablative lasers, but the most common are Fraxel Lasers and RevLite Lasers.

Dermatologists also use other treatments to remove scars and pigments based on the light that are not lasers, such as intense pulsed light (IPL).

When should I consider using laser treatment for skin pigmentation?

If you are particularly concerned about hyperpigmentation, rosacea, scars caused by acne or any other dermatosis, you should probably discuss the possible course of treatment with a skin doctor. He/she will recommend the most suitable treatment for your skin type.

But, in any severe cases of skin spots or marks, laser therapy is the best-sorted treatment as it smoothens the skin without causing any permanent side-effect.

How should I treat my skin after laser treatment for skin pigmentation?

Laser therapy should always be carried out by a qualified and experienced doctor, and the instructions for previous and subsequent care should be followed carefully.  Once the skin tissue has been reformed after the treatment, keeping the skin hydrated helps regenerate the skin.

Skin that remains on the surface after laser treatment is also likely to be very sensitive to sunlight, so it is important to use a high sun protection factor after treatment, even on cloudy days. At Nitai Medical and Cosmetic Centre, we recommend resorting to facial sunscreen products with very high sun protection factor (30, 50 and more than 50) that provide the skin with the necessary protection after laser treatment for skin pigmentation.

If you have undergone laser therapy to treat rosacea or hyperpigmentation, we also recommend that, once the skin has fully recovered, take care of the skin through a daily skincare regime with products that will help meet special needs of the skin and prolong the effectiveness of the treatment. Also, we would suggest avoiding use of heavy make-up for a couple of days after the treatment. Likewise, we suggest the use of sunscreen products of superior quality on a daily basis in order to prevent the same symptoms from recurring.

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