What is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is an umbrella term used to cover any number of conditions where one patch of skin becomes noticeably darker than the surrounding skin of the same area. This term covers a number of more specific conditions such as liver spots, freckles and melasma.
Although different types of hyperpigmentation can be caused by various factors such as acne scarring, medications or inflammation from other conditions, the main cause of hyperpigmentation is sun exposure. When we leave our skin untreated, harmful UV rays from the sun cause damage. This damage manifests itself in many ways, from harmless freckles to more severe conditions like skin cancer. Many of these conditions fall under the category of hyperpigmentation.
Most hyperpigmentations are harmless, and many forms are readily treatable through a mixture of options such as topical creams, Vitamin C and cosmetic treatments.
One specific type of hyperpigmentation is melasma, Although it also is a type of condition characterized by darker patches of skin, melasma is differentiated from other forms of hyperpigmentation mainly by its cause; rather than just being sun-related, melasma is caused in part by hormonal changes within the body. This is why melasma is often referred to as “the mask of pregnancy,” as pregnant women are much more likely to have this condition. In fact, melasma is found much more prevalently in women – pregnant or not – partly because of this hormonal cause. Melasma is also referred to as a “mask” because it almost always targets a person’s face, resulting in dark patches of skin on a person’s chin, cheeks, nose, upper lip or other cranial areas.
In addition to its causes, another distinguishing feature of melasma is its difficulty of treatment. Whereas some types of hyperpigmentation can be treated with topical creams, melasma is not treated so easily due to the hormones that contribute to its cause in the first place. Because hormones are a personalized set of chemicals, each person’s melasma responds differently to treatment.
We recommend a combination of treatments, including strong sunblock, vitamins and brightening agents combine with other in site treatments.
In some cases, the melasma can clear up quickly. In other cases, it might take a while longer. For some people, treatments must be repeated indefinitely, or the melasma returns. Just as each individual’s hormones are different, each person’s response to treatment is different, making it almost impossible to predict who will respond well and who will take more time and effort.
The Importance of Sun Protection
The most significant commonality between hyperpigmentation in general, or melasma specifically, is sun exposure. The harmful effects of solar radiation are well-known today, and yet people still take risks by venturing outside without proper protection.
The various types of hyperpigmentation, including melasma, are all triggered in part by prolonged exposure to the sun.
The importance of wearing proper clothing and applying sunscreen cannot be overstated if you wish to avoid these unsightly conditions at some point in your future.
Melasma With PICOSURE®
The world’s first picosecond aesthetic laser-optimal wavelengths for treating pigmentary conditions and overall skin revitalization, with the added capability of tattoo removal.
PicoSure® is one of many ways to treat melasma and restore the even tone and clear complexion of your skin.
Does PicoSure® Laser For Melasma Removal Work?
First, let’s talk about how PicoSure® technology works.
PicoSure® lasers quickly penetrate the skin and treat hyper pigmented areas to result in even-toned skin. This process targets below the surface of the skin. Skin penetration by lasers means that users can see results faster and often more predictably. It is an easy and fast process that results in rejuvenated, long-lasting skin health.
Due to the rapidity of the process, the energy converts into pressure rather than heat. The pressure energy penetrates the pigment, and the body flushes out the pigment. It safely transfers energy below the surface of your skin to treat the Melasma at its source.
The procedure is fast and straightforward and only causes a bit of minor discomfort. The sensation of these lasers removing the unwanted pigmentation feels almost like a rubber band snapping on the skin. Each session lasts a mere ten minutes – faster than a quick trip to the nail salon – meaning that the treatment is easy to work into your busy lifestyle. A few snaps of a rubber band over ten minutes is all you need to do to get smoother, more even-toned skin quickly.
So, in short, yes – PicoSure® lasers for melasma removal can help remove unwanted pigmentation on your hands, face, or anywhere else on your body.
Can PicoSure® Make Melasma Worse?
In some cases, extreme heat can even cause melasma to recur, which is the exact opposite desired effect.
PicoSure®, however, is a little different. The technology used in the PicoSure® laser is designed to combat the damaging processes in other types of lasers. With rapid-fire lasers comes less time for heat damage within the skin. This can reduce the risk of painful or unpleasant side effects, like redness and prolonged downtime.
That said, even though the PicoSure® laser is specially designed to reduce the risk of melasma returning or worsening after use, but always there’s a risk of Melasma could returning if there’s not appropriate care of the skin.
Is PicoSure® Laser Safe?
The process of using a PicoSure® laser for melasma is safe and painless. The primary irritant in most laser treatments is the extended exposure to heat, which the PicoSure® laser system reduces.
See a Specialist in Hyperpigmentation & Melasma
If you have noticed dark patches start to appear on your skin or elsewhere, then you should probably be checked by a skin care specialist . We also offer cosmetic treatments to help you diminish pigmentation. Make an appointment at Rejuline today!